Thursday, 09 March 2023 11:19

Initiative launched to tackle violence against women, children

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The Elevate Her Campaign — an initiative to facilitate bi-partisan and stakeholder participation to solve the nation’s hidden epidemic of domestic violence and violence against children — was launched on Wednesday.

PNP Deputy Spokesperson on Culture, Gender and Social Transformation and President of the PNP Women's Movement, Patricia Duncan Sutherland, launched the initiative as the world commemorates International Women’s Day.

Known nationally as an unrelenting advocate for equal rights, access to social and economic justice for the disadvantaged and violence prevention, Duncan Sutherland is mobilising stakeholders for the inaugural staging of the Elevate Her Summit in Kingston, Jamaica on Wednesday, April 19.

“Women and children are not safe in Jamaica. Our country is facing a 100 per cent rise in domestic violence cases over the last five years. Annually, there are almost 10,000 reports of child abuse and it is almost a guarantee that one in every four women will experience violence from their intimate partner and be sexually assaulted by someone who is not their intimate partner,” Duncan Sutherland said.

“None of us can be comfortable with those statistics. It is urgent that we do something to generate solutions, collate best practices and re-engineer our families, communities and legal system to protect our women and children and treat each other with respect,” she said when asked the reason behind launching the initiative.

She added: “I know there are many stakeholders working in various spaces to respond to the trauma, alleviate economic hardship and reduce the physical threats to the women and children who are victims and survivors of violence.

“It is essential that we bring those practitioners to the table so we can see what has worked and use that to inform what we do next as a nation. This is about creating a Jamaica where women and children are safe.”

The Elevate Her Summit will bring together mental health practitioners, members of the security forces, political leaders, youth leaders, NGOs, survivors and agencies that support survivors to have open and honest discussions about the systemic shortfalls and the windows for intervention, prevention and treatment that can truly improve the lives our women and children.

“I am urging bi-partisan support for this initiative. With our parliament having its highest percentage of female legislators there has never been a more opportune time for our political leaders to collaborate to generate solutions that will change and save the lives of our women and children,” Duncan Sutherland added.