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Every fourth woman in Ja experience gender-based violence – survey

Thursday, June 21, 2018

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KINGSTON, Jamaica – A recent survey by the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, has found that one in every four women in Jamaica between the ages of 15 and 64 years will experience violence by their intimate partner and/or some kind of sexual violence.

The ministry, in a release today, said the findings were based on the first-ever survey to measure the prevalence of gender-based violence in Jamaica.

Gender Affairs Minister, Olivia Grange said that the anecdotal evidence has always suggested that Jamaica had a serious problem with gender-based violence, but the findings of the survey which are based on interviews with women across Jamaica have given “insight as we've never had before about the extent of the problem.”

According to the ministry, the survey also found that the majority of women who suffer relationship violence, 81.6 per cent did not seek professional help unless the cases are severe. Victims preferred, instead, to report the violence to a friend, family member and/or a neighbour.

Grange called for more responsibility to end gender-based violence and for men, especially, to become involved in ending relationship violence.

“We are putting emphasis on men, because they are the main perpetrators of the violence. We need to get them to stop! And men have a unique power to influence their brother, their friend, their colleague, their brethren to change violent behaviours and protect women and girls everywhere,” she said.

Grange condemned the “culture of silence” in Jamaica regarding gender violence. According to her, “men who sexually assault or batter women rely on the rest of us to stay silent and do nothing; and in Jamaica we have been providing them with a strong guarantee of silence. They want us to say 'cockroach nuh bizniz inna fowl fight'. They want us to believe that it's none of our business. But the truth is, it is the business of all of us who care about women, girls, men, boys and creating a country of peace and harmony.”

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