THE first national domestic violence shelter will open next month, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Olivia Grange has announced.
Grange said while the work-from-home orders due to COVID-19 had stopped work to renovate and retrofit buildings to be used as national shelters, the work has resumed.
“We're on schedule to open one of the shelters in August. We have taken possession of a second property and the title for the third property is now being transferred,” Grange said in her contribution to the 2020/21 Sectoral Debate last Tuesday.
She said the ministry continues work to end gender-based violence in Jamaica, and, “in March, we launched the Spotlight Initiative Jamaica programme which will strengthen the Government's efforts to end violence against women and girls.
The Spotlight Initiative is a global multi-year partnership involving the European Union and the United Nations, focused on eliminating all forms of violence against women and girls.
“We have also established partnerships with Jamaicans for Justice, UNESCO, and the High Commission of Canada in our effort to eliminate gender-based violence and empower women and girls, and achieve gender equality,” Grange said.
Last year Grange announced that $86 million had been put aside to set up two new shelters, in addition to the one to open in August. The plans were first announced by Governor General Sir Patrick Allen during his throne speech at Gordon House, and he said spaces for the facilities had already been identified.