To protest the growing number of women in Cayman being abused by their partners or acquaintances, the Business and Professional Women’s Club has scheduled a Silent Witness March at 5:30 p.m. Monday.
Participants are encouraged to gather on the lawn of the old government administration building, the Glass House at 5:15 p.m. The march will go from Elgin Avenue to Edwards Street, finishing at Heroes Park behind the courthouse where a brief ceremony will take place.
Among the speakers at the ceremony will be Governor Helen Kilpatrick, Deputy Governor Franz Manderson and members of the Business and Professional Women’s Club. Representatives of the Family Resource Centre will address bullying.
Len Layman, former director of the Cayman Islands Crisis Centre, said he will be attending to show that he stands up as a man against domestic violence.
“Being, seeing and marching each year to show that domestic abuse is not just a woman’s problem but is a problem for everybody is going to be a solution that I will stand up for and get involved [in],” he said.
The theme of this year’s campaign is “Love Shouldn’t Hurt.” Participants are urged to wear something with purple – the color chosen for Domestic Violence Awareness Month, or pink for bullying prevention.
The Business and Professional Women’s organization has collaborated with the Estella Scott-Roberts Foundation and the Family Resource Centre on the Silent Witness March.
The club encourages other service clubs and organizations, such as the Cadets, girls and boys associations, churches, first responders, and companies, as well as individuals, to come out and show their support in an effort to “stomp out violence” of all kinds in Cayman, especially gender violence.
The first march against domestic violence on island was in 1999, when participants silently carried life-sized silhouettes down the road to remember the women who had fallen or had no voice of their own.
In 2008, more than 2,000 people marched silently through George Town to pay tribute to Mrs. Scott-Roberts, who was not a victim of domestic abuse but was murdered. 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.