Kingston, 23 November 2020 (JIS) - The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, is appealing for Jamaicans “not to turn a blind eye” to acts of violence against women and girls.
She was speaking at a church service to mark International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (IDEVAW) held at the Power of Faith Ministries in Portmore, St Catherine, on Sunday (November 22).
Citing findings from the 2016 Women’s Health Survey, the Minister said that one in every four Jamaican women has been physically abused by her partner at some point in her lifetime and one in every three Jamaican women has been a victim of sexual violence.
“These statistics are indeed alarming,” she said.
Minister Grange said that it is possible to have a Jamaica that is free of violence against women and girls and that the church is well positioned “to help us achieve this reality”.
“From our vantage point, churches change culture through education, through advocacy and support and these are critical to address and overcome sexual and gender-based violence,” she noted.
She urged the church to pray for victims of violence as well as for the perpetrators, “so that God can show them the way to stop doing what they are doing… as we fight the scourge of violence”.
She noted that gender-based violence affects everyone in Jamaica regardless of age, education, employment status, union status or areas of residence.
“What this means is that the church, like everywhere else in our society, has members who are survivors, who are bystanders and, sadly, perpetrators,” she pointed out.
Statistics from the World Health Organisation indicate that one in every three women worldwide has experienced either physical and or sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence in their lifetime.