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Gov't continues to support victims of intimate partner violence

Thursday, March 08, 2018

KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) — Prime Minister Andrew Holness says the government is continuing to put measures in place to support victims of intimate partner violence (IPV) and domestic abuse as it works to address the issue.

He lamented that violence against women “is one of the greatest challenges that women face in our society today”, stressing that more needs to be done to deal with it resolutely.

Holness was addressing a breakfast meeting he hosted in recognition of International Women's Day at Jamaica House today.

He pointed out that the Government has made resources available to put in place shelters for victims, noting that one of three properties has already been purchased.

Located in a rural area, the facility, which will be the first State-run national shelter for victims of gender violence, will offer training and counselling. It is expected to begin operations during the upcoming financial year.

“We are making the investments to ensure that as a government we are being proactive in addressing the issue of violence in intimate partner relations and domestic abuse,” the prime minister said.

Holness noted that work is also being done to address the “ecosystem of institutional bias” in relation to the response of members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) to victims of IPV and domestic violence.

“We have been working to get the police to understand that they have a critical role in being proactive in addressing instances of intimate partner violence and domestic abuse that come to their attention,” he said.

More than 30 powerful women in leadership positions across different spheres were invited to the meeting, where they were treated to a Jamaican breakfast and entertained by songstress Ayesha Davis with her rendition of 'Superwoman'.

Each of the invitees, headed by wife of the Prime Minister, Juliet Holness, also shared what International Women's Day means to them, and highlighted matters of concern in relation to the role of women in society.

Also in attendance were Head of the European Union Delegation to Jamaica, Ambassador Malgorzata Wasilewska; Canadian High Commissioner to Canada, Laurie Peters; Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Olivia Grange; Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Kamina Johnson Smith; attorney-at-law and Leader of Opposition Business in the Upper House, Senator Donna Scott Mottley; State Minister in the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, Fayval Williams; Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister, Audrey Sewell; Clerk to the Houses of Parliament, Heather Cooke; and Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Paula Llewellyn.

International Women's Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender equality, which is highlighted in this year's theme, #PressforProgress.