Community urged to speak out on violence

The Estella Scott-Roberts
Foundation is launching a domestic violence awareness campaign from 5-6.30pm
Sunday, 17 October at the Harquail Theatre with the theme Silence Hurts: If You
See Something, Say Something.

Rayle Roberts, foundation chairman,
said the foundation is reaching out to everyone in the community with its
message.

“We implore people: Do not be
afraid to speak out. The only way to stop the violence is to address it, to
make sure people understand that there is never a justification or an excuse
for gender violence,” he said.

Mr. Roberts said he hopes anyone
who suspects violence is taking place would tell someone trusted; a teacher, a
church leader, a coach, a counsellor, another family member, friends, police,
or social workers. He also reiterated that it is everyone’s responsibility to
speak out and thus help prevent violence.

The campaign marks the start of
various initiatives throughout the year. With the help of sponsorships from
Cayman Free Press and Tower Marketing, the campaign will use television and
radio appearances to raise awareness about domestic violence and have
community-outreach initiatives to bring the message into the heart of the
community.

Teritia Peart, business manager for
Cayman Free Press, said the company was pleased to be involved with the
Foundation and this year’s campaign: “We are a very public part of the Cayman
Islands community, and it means a great deal to us to be able to give something
back, to recognise the support we have had through the years. It is a pleasure
to aid the Foundation and the causes that Estella advocated for.”

In response to the tragic death of
his wife, Mr. Roberts started the foundation in her memory. Since its inception
in 2008, the Estella Scott-Roberts Foundation has launched a number of
informative and educational projects to encourage awareness of gender issues.

In 2009 the foundation ran a Be the
Change campaign and the Call to Men campaign with an accompanying video, which
was presented at local primary schools and Rotary clubs. The foundation hopes
that the Silence Hurts campaign will be another step forward in the effort to
end all types of gender violence abuse and inequality.

Mr. Roberts said he hopes people
will reflect on the words of the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr and support the
campaign: “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that
matter.”

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