KINGSTON, Jamaica— Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Olivia Grange, has listed the numbers for the 24-hour hotline for women who need to use the Government's first domestic violence shelter.
The numbers are 876-553-0372 or 876-929-2997.
Grange told the House of Representatives yesterday that the facility is now ready to accept clients, “even while we continue to receive donations to make it more comfortable and build out our programmes to help women to rebuild their lives and get back on their feet”.
She said the property, and two others, were purchased with the budgetary support of the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service.
“The first property, after significant refurbishing and reconstruction, has been transformed into a safe and comfortable facility to house women who are victims of domestic abuse, and their children.
“The other two properties are now in the early reconstruction and/or refurbishing stages and will be transformed as quickly as possible into safe spaces for women,” Grange added.
She reiterated that focus in stemming gender-based violence has to start in the homes and the communities, “because most of the violence against women and girls takes place in the homes”.
“We know as well that the violence is prevalent. A United Nations report on the violent life events that many women experience estimated that overall, 35 per cent of women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual violence. This is in keeping with the findings of the local Women's Health Survey which found that one in every four women in Jamaica has been slapped, beaten with fists, pushed, kicked, attacked with a weapon or threatened with a weapon by her male partner,” she said.
“We also know that the violence doesn't have to happen. It is not inevitable. We have seen a significant decline in violence against women, including domestic violence. In the United States, for instance, domestic violence among adult women went down by 64 per cent, between 1993 and 2010. How did they do it? By implementing a number of measures — which we have also adopted into our 10-year National Strategic Action Plan to End Gender-based Violence.”
She said among the actions of the plan was the development of a network of shelters for women who need help to leave abusive relationships, and the first is now open.