September 16, 2011
NCW seeking to stamp out violence against women in SVG

In its continuing efforts to stamp out violence against women in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, a workshop designed to train participants in intervention techniques was held here last week.{{more}}

The workshop, organized by the National Council of Women (NCW), with the financial assistance of the Barbados based OECS office of the British High Commission, targeted the areas of rape, murder and HIV/AIDS.

At the project’s launch last Thursday, September 8, at the University of the West Indies Open campus at Richmond Hill, Kingstown, NCW president Nelcia Robinson Hazell demanded a more concentrated response from women and men, the justice system, other relevant government departments, and victim support Non Governmental Organizations alike.

“The National Council of Women recognizes that the struggle for emancipation from violence against women and girls is far from over, and requires awareness raising programs on the root cause of the problem along with intervention and prevention training.”

“Why would a woman who is being beaten tell the police nothing is wrong when they arrive on the scene? And why is there nothing in the justice system to deal with this type of entrapment that tightens this cycle of violence?”

“The NCW has, therefore, chosen to launch its year long domestic violence intervention/ prevention program on international literacy day, moving beyond the literacy of letters and numbers, to mass education against violence to women and girls.”

Robinson- Hazell indicated that the program consisted of a series of capacity building workshops for frontline workers such as police, nurses, teachers and social workers, which is expected to better equip them to work with victims and perpetrators of domestic violence.

She said that course was directed towards these practitioners with varying levels of experience, and from a number of professional backgrounds.

The first workshop, which will target social workers, is expected to run from September 23 to 25, and will be followed by three other workshops scheduled for dates convenient to the target groups.

“The main training tool is the Caribbean Training Manual, and the resource on domestic violence and spousal abuse,” Robinson Hazell indicated.

“The National Council of Women expects that this body of training will add to the efforts already being made by other stakeholders to eradicate the shameful scourge of domestic violence from our society.

Also speaking at the launch of the project was British High Commission Program Officer Deborah Worrell, who said that tackling violence against women and girls was a priority for the United Kingdom.

“The UK remains actively engaged in tackling violence against women both domestically and globally, through an integrated cross government strategy led by the Home Office.”

“The strategic vision and action plan to deliver the strategy contains measures for central government to prevent violence from happening, by challenging the attitudes and behavior that foster it and to intervening early where possible to prevent it.”

Worrell also said that strategic measures include the provision of adequate levels of support where violence exists, and working in partnership to obtain the best outcome for victims and their families, as well as taking action to reduce the risks to women and girls who are victims of abuse and to ensure that perpetrators are brought to justice.(JJ)