Editorial for 29 November: Help fight gender violence

The Cayman Islands is in the midst of 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence, as is the rest of the world.

It’s a sad comment on our globe that we have to set aside days to bring the issue of gender or domestic violence to the fore.

The theme this year is “From Peace in the Home to Peace in the World: Let’s Change Militarism and End Violence Against Women” and focuses on how peace in the home can extend to peace in the world.

Minister for Gender Affairs Mike Adam has urged all of us to take a “firm stance” against violence, as well we should.

Many people experience various forms of domestic violence. And many people keep quiet about it because of societal values and beliefs that oppress women and children.

When we speak of gender violence or domestic abuse we think of women as the victims. In most instances, that’s true.

But men also endure physical, emotional and verbal abuse and, because of societal standards, remain silent.

There are many forms of domestic violence or gender abuse. They include physical aggression such as hitting, kicking, biting, shoving, restraining, slapping, throwing things or threats; sexual abuse; emotional abuse; controlling or domineering; intimidation; stalking; passive or covert abuse such as neglect; and economic deprivation.

Such incidents can be worsened by alcohol abuse, unemployment or infidelity.
This year, the Department of Counselling Services’ Family Resource Centre has partnered with the Business and Professional Women’s Club Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac to make the public more aware of what gender violence entails.

If you know of incidents of gender violence or domestic abuse, please tell someone. In the case of abuse, silence can be a killer.

That someone can be a minister, a police officer, a counsellor, a friend or a family member; someone who can help.

Don’t keep silent.
 

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