Woman Inc crisis shelter reopens

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

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Woman Incorporated's crisis shelter in Kingston was officially reopened last Wednesday after extensive upgrading.

Ground was broken in January for the renovation and expansion of the shelter to house additional women and children seeking protection from abuse.

The project was undertaken by the Government through more than $14 million in funding from the United States Agency for International Development.

Among the amenities are bedrooms, a kitchen, bathrooms, house mother's room, consulting room for counselling services, recreation and dining room, gazebo and garden area, and a reading room. The building is disabled-friendly.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Olivia “Babsy” Grange said the Government is moving swiftly to establish a national shelter in the Corporate Area. She said there are also plans to commence work on satellite shelters in rural Jamaica.

“The national shelter, which is long overdue, is being established as a Legacy Project of the Jamaica 55 commemorations, with the kind support of the Jamaican Diaspora in the United States,” she pointed out.

Grange said that while support is provided for the victims, efforts are being made to find, punish and rehabilitate perpetrators of violence against women and children.

She noted that the National Strategic Action Plan to eliminate gender-based violence (GBV) has provisions to deal with offenders.

“The 10-year plan was recently approved by Cabinet, and we are now beginning to implement the provisions,” she said, adding that the plan sets out strategic action to be implemented across the entire government service, and with specific efforts towards eliminating GBV.

Grange said that the Bureau of Gender Affairs, the national gender machinery, will continue to sensitise and bring awareness to the issue of GBV, and provide protection to victims.

She said the success of the plan will depend on partnerships, and urged everyone to get involved in the fight against the scourge.

“We need all hands on deck to end gender-based violence. We have become an individualistic, hands-off, see nothing, hear nothing, do nothing society,” she pointed out.

“We need to get back to being a people who care about each other, who get involved in each other's lives, who treat each other's children like our own, who know that we rise together or we sink together,” she added.




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