Protecting our girls, women

Thursday, June 13, 2019

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Dear Editor,

The violent assaults against women, and in particular girls, in recent times have got progressively worse in Jamaica. Kidnapped, raped, stabbed, and set a blaze are just some of the accounts the police give of girls and women who have been found dead after being reported missing.

The situation of women and girls being preyed upon by sick unsuspecting perverts will take a collaborative effort to stem its prevalence and give an indication that we are not just talk. The majority of Jamaicans agree that something needs to be done to protect females; however, just calling on the Government is not a magic wand solution. Public outcries and demonstration falls in the category of knee-jerk reaction and does not result in a conviction before a judge.

Here is the unfortunate sequence of events: A female is reported missing, found dead, there is a public outcry, protest/march, a Member of Parliament or councillor publicly condemns the action, then we return to business as usual until another death is reported and the cycle is repeated.

The issue needs a proactive approach in which everyone sees it as their duty to be an informer for the cause. The 'see no evil'; 'coward man keep sound bone', 'informer fi dead', 'cockroach nuh business inna fowl fight' concepts will cause us to forever expel tears of sorrow for our mothers, aunts, sisters daughters, and wives. We often call on the police to be more vigilant, females to make better partner choices, Government to enact laws to prevent violence against women, and the courts to impose stiffer penalties for perpetrators. While those suggestions are good, we should get more personal by telling what we know to the relevant authorities and establishing effective neighbourhood watches. We need to see ourselves as a part of the solution by actively getting involved with the view to prevent rather than to regret.

Let us play our part in the prevention of violence against the sex seen as weaker.

Hezekan Bolton

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