Eden speaks out over silence on gender abuse

| 28/11/2008

(CNS): A special report on how the community can address gender violence was handed to government this week at the start of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence Campaign in Cayman. Anthony Eden, Minister for Health and Human Services called on the community not to allow a culture of silence and denial to surround this sort of violence and abuse as silence perpetuates the problem. He said the government had chosen to speak out.


This year’s theme for the 16 days of activism is “Human Rights for Women Human Rights for All” reflecting the right of every human being to live a life free from violence, and violence against women is one of the most globally perpetrated human rights violations. “For over a decade, the Business and Professional Women’s Club, in conjunction with other government and non-government organizations, have utilized this 16 Days Campaign to speak out on these issues in the Cayman Islands,” said Eden. “Given the recent circumstances surrounding the tragic death of Estella Scott-Roberts, an outstanding women’s advocate, and the high profile cases of sexual violation of our young children, we unfortunately, know all too well about the consequences of gender violence and child sexual abuse in the Cayman Islands.”

He said the community should not allow the ‘Culture of Silence’ and denial to surround this sort of violence and abuse. “We must not offer this level of protection to the perpetrators, nor unintentionally prolong the suffering of the victims, through our silence.”

The minister explained that one of the real challenges was that people often don’ recognize that their own behaviour may at times be perpetuating abuse. “We may say it is none of our business, when we see a neighbour or acquaintance being affected. We may even be struggling in situations with our own children, the younger ones, and the adults too – or other close family, and either we may not admit what we see, or feel helpless to do anything about it. What this campaign says is that this is not good enough; that anyone in such a situation deserves better, and that help is available; the first step is to be honest about what we are faced with, and to resolve to do something about it.”

He said as Minister for Gender Affairs he was pleased that government had chosen to speak out joining some 60 other governments, as well as many other organizations and individuals around the world, by endorsing the United Nations Development Fund for Women’s (UNIFEM) Say NO to Violence Against Women Campaign – www.sayNOtoviolence.org  a petition where over a million people had added their names to a global call to action that the issue of gender based violence must be a top priority.

“Given our Government’s desire for a peaceful society for all women, men and children in the Cayman Islands, I am pleased that the Cayman Islands can be counted among those countries that are speaking out on this issue,” he said.

The minister also noted that the Special Advisory Committee on Gender Violence would be recommending to the Government, both short and long term solutions to strategically address this issue. “The report from this Special Advisory Committee will be handed over to the Cayman Islands Government,” he added. “I take this opportunity to publicly thank those who worked tirelessly on this committee, for their dedication to finding more effective ways to work towards eliminating gender violence, child abuse and domestic abuse from our shores.”

As well as thanking the various agencies and people in government and civil society, who work with the victims and perpetrators of the crime of gender violence and domestic abuse he said their work and collaborative efforts makes an invaluable contribution to tackling manifestations of gender inequality, and the ripple effect it has in our society. “I trust that we all will put our support behind this issue not only through 10 December when the campaign officially concludes, but in the following months and years to come,” he concluded.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Category: Headline News

About the Author ()

Comments (4)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Anonymous says:

    Abuse is a serious issue and so is health care. Unfortunately, we do not have a minister who is capable of sufficently handling either. Eden – PLEASE RETIRE!! DO NOT RUN IN BT AGAIN. Give someone else a chance ….. PLEASE …..

  2. Anonymous says:

    We must not forget that this types of violance also occurs against men, I personally know three different men who refuses to beat their women, yet their women continuosly physically and verbally abuse them. The women continuosly treating them by saying "Ht me then if you want to go to jail" When they go to the police, they are practically laughed at. Now if these men turned around and hit these women, they would be jailed right away.

    i do not intend to minimise the severety of woman and children abuse, becasue the majorty of the abused are women and children.  I just think that abuse of men is always swept under the carpet.

  3. Anonymous says:

    A joke,A Joke thats putting it  very mildly This dude has patented the Phrase "My hands are Tied" He depends on the sympathy vote in every election and sadly some people fall for it everytime. The next time you have a one on one with him ask him how many Caymanians have left his ministry.

  4. Anonymous says:

    His Ministry is a joke. They have been sitting on key pieces of legislation to protect children and women and yet we must not be silent?

    Do not worry – we won’t be silent come the next election – that’s for sure!!!