I live on a beautiful tiny island in the Caribbean, Trinidad and Tobago known for its rich multi ethnic culture, the home of the greatest carnival on earth, and the inventor of the only musical instrument of the 20th century the steel drum. We are known for much more as well, our beautiful sun kissed beaches, tasty street food, our natural rain forest and I can go on and on
But lately we are also known for an ever increasing rise in domestic violence against our women. In fact 2020 was one of the most violent 46 women killed and 21 of them at the hands of men they loved.The total no. of reported cases of violence in the home were 556.
For a country with a population of only 1.4 million it is a worrying revelation. The increase in cases has come also during this pandemic period, with more families together at home for an extended period due to lockdown measures
We have marched, we have stood with candles and cried, we have raised our voices, advocated for change, put systems in place, hotlines, upon hotlines but still in the spur of the moment it's not a lifeline.
We have questioned why, wonder where we have gone wrong and we are not alone. The WHO says the one in every 3 women that s 30%of women globally, have experienced physical or sexual abuse, that's a startling reality.
Countless studies and reasons are given for this misbehaviour of perpetrators and much has been written about the health consequences to victims, the social and economic cost, and the impact on the lives of children and immediate families and communities as a whole
It pains us when a sister s light is snuffed out, whether at the hands of one she loves or one that has violated her right to life. Changed behaviour begins with parenting and educating.
Any act of violence against women is too much. There's work to be continued and more to be done globally. Our men and boys need help. Survivors need a broad spectrum of care and attention Funding need to be allocated to implement prevention and protection policies.
It is my dream to one day be able to provide an opportunity for a fresh start. An eco system where young girls and women can be safe from domestic violence and abuse ,in an environment conducive to making a fresh start, empowered to empower others.