June 9, 2015
Persons experiencing violence urged to seek help

The Gender Affairs Division in the Ministry of National Mobilization has called on persons experiencing violence to seek help.

The Division made the call in a release issued following the murder of 35-year-old Shardine Monecia Johnson of Chateaubelair.{{more}}

Johnson was killed by her former lover on Sunday morning. After attacking Johnson, the perpetrator Keno Johnson fled the scene and drank a poisonous substance. He died on Sunday night.

The Division says it is committed to a culture of peace and security and condemns violence of any kind, because violence is an infringement of a person’s right.

The Division said the gruesome act of violence over the weekend has “marred the efforts of Community Based Organizations, Faith Based Organizations, Civil Society and all. The death of Shardine Monecia Johnson is an opportunity to look ahead to what will follow if men and women cannot come together to settle their differences, and where more often than not women are the victims of domestic disputes.

“Additionally, there is need for a stronger stand against a rise in femicide, or gender-related killings. The Gender Affairs Division in the Ministry of National Mobilization is issuing a call for all and sundry to respond to violence of all sort by “Breaking the silence” around their experience. Violence prevention and response must be acknowledge as equally important and a shared responsibility among individuals, families, communities and the state.

“Persons who are experiencing violence must seek help. The Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines has just passed the Domestic Violence Act of 2015, which has been strengthened to respond not just to the victims, but also to the perpetrators; therefore help is available and the rights are all outlined in the Act.”

The Division is therefore encouraging everyone to seek help before using violence as a way to solve problems.

The release said the Act is there to protect and persons must seek to educate themselves on what is contained in the Act.

The Division extended sympathy to the families of the deceased and advised persons to seek professional help if they have problems.

A call was also made for the “relevant authority” to work “steadfastly to rid our society of such criminal elements.”