Women march against violence in MoBay

Monday, February 06, 2017

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ST JAMES, Jamaica (JIS) — Scores of women drawn from all sectors of society staged a peaceful march in Montego Bay on Monday to call for an end to violence against women and children.
The placard-bearing women, accompanied by a small contingent of men including Government Senator Charles Sinclair, marched from Barnett Street into the historic Sam Sharpe Square, where they blended their voices in a unified call for an end to violence.
The placards had messages such as “end violence now”, “save our children”, “protect our girls and women”, and “enough is enough.”
Chief organiser, Natasha Wilson, told JIS News that the march was aimed at sending a strong message to the perpetrators of crimes against women as well as to the relevant authorities that the women and, by extension, the country was at a breaking point.
She said the march was also aimed at moving the conversation about violence against women and children from the social medial platforms to public spaces.
 “The women’s movement has decided to stand up against what is happening against women and children. Persons share these situations on social media and they made individual calls to their friends but we need to stand up in the public and say no to what is happening,” she said. 
She is also calling on citizens to pay closer attention to domestic or other forms of violence being committed in their homes and communities.
“We need to start from within our homes and our communities, these small areas that are personal to us. In your homes, persons see the abuse. In your communities, you know about the neighbours, who are being abused…you need to speak out,” Wilson said.
Meanwhile, Sinclair said as a citizen of Montego Bay, and councillor in the St. James Municipal Corporation he had to come out in support of the march.
“I would support …any coming together of law-abiding citizens against violence generally, and violence against vulnerable persons. I am here …to show that we can bond together as a community and make our voices heard,” he said.
Sinclair expressed confidence that the cries of the women in St James will be heard by the relevant authorities, who must now move to not only address the scourge of crime and violence, but to bring some form of comfort to those who are affected and grieving.
He invited a delegation from the organising group to attend the regular monthly meeting of the St James Municipal Corporation on Thursday to seek the full support of the local authorities in their call for an end to crime and violence, particularly against women.

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