KINGSTON, Jamaica — Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Olivia Grange says that violence against women and girls is an issue of national security and justice which “we must find solutions to”.
The minister was speaking in the House of Representatives today. Her statement follows the murder of 20-year-old Khanice Jackson who went missing last Wednesday. Jackson's body was found at the Portmore Fishing Village in St Catherine two days later.
“Many of our boys and men develop a toxic masculinity that often defines itself in violence and aggression against women and girls,” Grange said in Parliament.
“Young men who are courteous and gentle with women are often harassed and vilified in favour of those who would push aggression in defining their maleness,” she added.
The minister appealed to members of the music and entertainment fraternity and media whose “voices are keenly respected by our boys and young men” to join in the campaign to rid our country of this scourge of violence against women and girls.
“It used to be that one action that would almost always cause aggressive response in men would be to insult or vilify their mothers, daughters or wives. To the men of Jamaica, I ask, when did this change to the point that so many of our women are now suffering from violence at the hands of our men?” Grange questioned.
The minister called for collective action across the country.
“We must find solutions to this scourge among us. It must be all hands on deck. It is an issue of national security and justice and we must commend and support the actions of law enforcement in this matter. There is evidence that they are responding more rapidly and purposefully and we encourage them to not relent,” Grange said.
The minister noted that the police have started responding to calls regarding missing women without waiting for the usual 24 hours to pass.
“We also encourage them to continue to step in whenever there is report of domestic conflict that demands attention or intervention. Prevention must also be the preferred approach,” she said.