Nurses lead walk against violence on Saturday in Kingston

Friday, March 22, 2019

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HUNDREDS of people are expected to walk on Saturday to register their stance against violence.

The Orange Day Walk, which is being organised by the Nurses Association of Jamaica (NAJ), will close out activities for Peace Month,

Nurse of the Year Denese Dacres Reeves, who is spearheading the event, said that the impact of violence on women and children has been understated in recent years and, therefore, the walk would bring much needed attention to the problem, putting it on the forefront of discussions in the public domain.

“There is also the environment in which the children grow up, where they keep on seeing these acts of violence. They will see it as the norm and as a result, we need to raise awareness to let them know it is not normal and it is not acceptable,” she pointed out.

In addition, she said another objective of the walk is to empower battered women and encourage them to walk away from abusive relationships.

“It is also intended to point them to the different social networks and mechanisms that are available for them to tap into and get help, so that they themselves, can be empowered and step away from such relationships,” she said.

Dacres Reeves said the walk is also to send a signal to the perpetrators of violence that women and other victims will no longer sit back and do nothing about it. Nurses, she added, were the ones to see the effects of the violence when victims turn up at hospitals.

The walk will commence at 6:30 am, starting from Emancipation Park, onto Knutsford Boulevard, then onto Trafalgar Road, down Hope Road onto Hagley Park Road, then right on South Odeon Avenue to assemble at Mandela Park.

Nurse Reeves anticipates that the event will attract 200 persons or more. She said persons can register for the walk at the NAJ head office at 4 Trevennion Park Road between 8:30 am and 4:00 pm. On site registration will also be available on the day of the walk.

“We would prefer if persons pre-register. The cost is $1,500 per person; children 12 years and under is $800 and if it is a group of 10 or more it is $1,200 which will cover T-shirts, hydration and light breakfast,” she said.

The walk is now in its fourth year, and since then has been championed by the winner of the Nurse of the Year. This is the second march for 2019. The first one was held in January in Mandeville, Manchester.

Part-proceeds from the walk will go towards a fund to educate the children of a colleague nurse, who was murdered, while the remainder will be given to other charitable initiatives.

Dr Deanna Ashley, executive director of the Violence Prevention Alliance, endorsed the initiative.

“A walk denouncing violence against women and children is commendable and should be supported,” she said.

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