More than 50 people in Grand Cayman joined together on Tuesday, 18 October, to participate in the annual Silent Witness March, which has taken place on Island for more than 11 years.
Organised by members of the Business and Professional Women’s Club, the event is meant to bring attention to the scourge of domestic violence and violence against women and children.
Several streets in George Town were closed on Tuesday, as the procession made its way along Elgin Avenue, across to Fort Street, where an address was given by members of the organisation.
Participants of the Silent Witness March held red silhouettes to represent women killed in the Cayman Islands and around the world as a result of domestic violence.
In her address BPWC member Linda McField told listeners, “We need to take steps to end domestic violence and sexual assault. It is important to remember these issues are not private matters but everyone’s problem.”
She said men, too, can be victims and often times do not speak up because of fear of shame.
According to Ms McField, 88 women sought shelter at the crisis centre between 2008 and 2009. She said that number increased to 92 between 2009 and 2010 and between 2010 up to July of this year, there were more than 100 women in need of shelter.
“It’s increasing, which is very troubling and in a community as small as ours these numbers are far too high,” Ms McField said. Currently, the Women’s Crisis Centre receives, on average, three to five calls per day.
The names of Anna Evans and Kerran Baker were also mentioned during the day’s events, as participants kept the thought of both women who went missing this year in their thoughts and prayers. A moment of silence was observed in remembrance of all people who suffer from abuse.
What began as a determination to remember 26 women, whose lives had been lost in 1990 because of domestic violence in the United States, has evolved into an international initiative.