Annual Silent Witness March scheduled for Friday

Raising awareness about domestic violence and bullying

The 13th annual Silent Witness March to raise awareness of domestic violence will be held on Friday, Oct. 18. 

It is scheduled to start at 5:30 p.m. at the government administration building. The route will be down Elgin Avenue to Edwards Street and finish at Celebration Park, behind the courthouse. There, a short ceremony will feature speakers including Governor Helen Kilpatrick, Minister for Education Tara Rivers, and Premier Alden McLaughlin. 

The march has been organized locally since 1999 by the Business and Professional Women’s Club of Grand Cayman.  

“The Silent Witness March is a powerful reminder that domestic violence and bullying continue to exist in the Cayman Islands,” said the club’s president, Andrea Williams. “Through the march, we come together as a community to recognize the victims of domestic violence and bullying.” 

Ms Williams noted that 2013 is the fifth anniversary of the murder of Estella Scott Roberts. “While Estella was not a victim of domestic violence, she was a tireless advocate for victims of domestic violence as the first manager of the Cayman Islands Crisis Centre. We will remember and honour not only her, but women like Lisa Hlady (who was murdered in 2001), and the many others who have suffered as a result of domestic violence in the Cayman Islands and around the world,” Ms Williams said. 

In 2008, more than 2,000 people marched silently through George Town to pay tribute to Mrs. Scott-Roberts, the Caymanian Compass reported. Despite the large number of people, the streets of George Town were entirely silent from 12:30 p.m. to 1 p.m. as the crowd made its way from the Glass House to the Legislative Assembly Building. Some carried banners and signs calling for peace and an end to violence, while others carried pictures of Mrs. Scott-Roberts or held aloft red silhouettes of women to mark the victims of domestic violence. 

In 2013, the BPWC is partnering with the Family Resource Centre to mark for the first time that victims of bullying are recognized as well, a top initiative for the Family Resource Centre.  

Through efforts like the Silent Witness March, Ms Williams said, “We hope to increase awareness and motivate the community to work together to assist victims and ultimately eradicate domestic violence and bullying in the Cayman Islands.” 

She urged march participants to wear something with the color purple – the color chosen for Domestic Violence Awareness Month, which runs Oct. 1-31.