As part of its campaign against domestic abuse, the Business and Professional Women’s Club Grand Cayman is organising 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence beginning today.
Seema Kapoor, chairperson of the BPW’s 16 Days/Silent Witness Committee, explained the significance of the campaign, which runs until International Human Rights Day on 10 December.
‘My message is to invite the community to come and support this cause, to represent solidarity against violence against women. We are here to help domestic violence victims,’ she said.
Activities are scheduled throughout the 16 days and include church services, radio and television spots, a candlelight vigil and a dress down day.
‘We are also releasing a brochure to provide information on local resources on counselling and support for domestic violence victims. On Daybreak we will highlight counsellors and what they offer,’ Mrs. Kapoor said.
Throughout the campaign, the BPW will be selling for a nominal fee black and blue ribbons, representing bruises, that people can buy and wear to show their support, she added.
The 16 Days campaign has been held in Cayman since 1998 and worldwide since 1991.
The theme for this year’s local campaign is ‘For the health of the family: No more violence.’
Mrs. Kapoor explained the choice of theme.
‘After Ivan, women and men and children all suffered greatly. The number of domestic violence cases reported has increased substantially, so we want to focus on family for domestic violence issues,’ she said.
Radio personality Susan Watson has recorded her poem, Domestic Abuse has no Use, and will donate the proceeds from sales of the $5 CD to BPW projects.
The poem tells the stories of several men and women in Cayman who have been victims of domestic abuse.
The dress down day, the first-ever arranged for this campaign, is scheduled for Friday, 2 December.
Mrs. Kapoor explained that businesses are encouraged to take part, with employees showing their support by wearing black or navy blue clothes along with the black or blue ribbons the BPW is selling.
The candlelight ceremony will be held in Heroes Square in George Town, Tuesday, 6 December at 7pm.
‘During the Silent Witness march we asked people to take a pledge and now we are asking them to participate in these activities and continue with the pledge they had made against domestic violence,’ Mrs. Kapoor said.