Abuse needsfocused response

| 04/12/2008

(CNS): The Chairman of the recently formed National Advisory Committee on Gender Violence, Len Layman has said that in order for government to really address the problems of abuse in our community the country needs a national committee that can help co-ordinate the many elements required and drive things forward if we are to make any meaningful head way in eradicating violence.

Having handed over a report compiled by this committee which existed just for thirty days to government Layman one of the founding members of the Crisis Centre and a driving force against gender abuse has said that there is no point dwelling on past mistakes but instead the community needs to move forward and establish a permanent committee that can spearhead an education campaign in the community, ensure legislation created is appropriate, direct resources and conduct the necessary research needed to understand the causes of abuse and violence.

“I believe the priority move for government must be to establish a permanent committee that can drive forward and co-ordinate the implementation of policies,” he toldCNS. Layman explained that there is a wide group of different organisations from the Women’s Resource centre to Family Services as well as legislation pending regarding the issues of violence and abuse, all of which needs to be focused. He added that with a dedicated but independent committee, all of these elements can be properly co-ordinated. “it wouldn’t just provide oversight and assistance to Government but it can also be a platform for input from all sectors of the country,” Layman said.

Speaking at the launch of the 16 days of activism against Gender Violence when he handed the report to government Layman drew attention to the key issues surrounding this abuse. “It is widely accepted that the home is the breeding ground for healthy, non-violent youth and adults, as well as the youth and adults who follow the path of violence. The Special Advisory Committee members asserts that more needs to be done to ensure that in the Cayman Islands that we are raising healthy, non-violent adults,” he said.

Layman also called for an ongoing public relations campaign to educate the public on the importance of promoting healthy relationships and the availability of services.

In order to move forward we have to recognize that this island and its people have been terribly hurt by the recent violence and it is critical that we acknowledge that hurt and move toward healing.  It is also clear that these events have in many ways been divisive in our community,” he said. “If we are to make Cayman a more peaceful, less violent place it is going to take the combined efforts of all of its residents, regardless of background.  For this reason we are asking government to declare January 9th 2009 a National Day of Healing and Unity. A day we can all come together, start healing, and begin moving forward together.

The Human Rights Committee has also given its support to Layman and the recommendations that the 30 day committee made and urged government to follow it and do something about gender violence.

 

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  1. Twyla M Vargas says:

    PARADISE INTERUPTED

    It is with sadness that I say women of the Island are afraid, and to hear some  bone chilling stories being told.  Women are afraid to even park in unlighted areas of supermarkets and restaurants, even around churches, and any in badly lit areas.

    This is real scary, and we need a stragetic plan.  A public relations campaign, yes I agree with, because it will educate the public addressing voilent crimes, and  I also wish to express  that the general public is still not satisfied with bits and pieces given in recent crimes.

    Establiishing a permanent committee to co-ordinate  and implement certain policies would do some good, once it is not just another committee seeking a salary I also do not agree that  the weight of this burden should be on the shoulders of the Government.  I would suggest that the private sector carry some of the burden, half and half.  Because when it is all said and done we all are going to be affected one way or the other when crime increases, eventually,  it will reach your door way sooner than later unless each one of us step up to the mike, take it in hand  and say "Hello I refuse to let Paradise be interupted."

  2. Anonymous says:

    I couldn’t agree more that change needs to be made at a core social level as the subjugation of women in the Cayman Islands is a tragedy. Women in the country are afraid and things need to change.