January 17, 2022

Cayman: RCIPS stands in support of 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence

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As the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence concludes today, the RCIPS is offering a message of support to all those who suffer due to gender-based violence, as well as a message of zero lenience toward perpetrators.

“While this initiative takes place annually, can we please as individuals and as a community, collectively take the initiative all year long to end gender violence generally, and in particular violence against women.” urges Nancy Barnard, Deputy Chief Officer of the Office of the Commissioner of Police.

The RCIPS recognises the importance of combatting this issue, and continues to proactively seek ways to enhance our support for victims, as shown by the recent efforts of our Family Support Unit to ensure the safety of the most vulnerable victims of gender-based violence, by successfully securing protection orders through the court. The RCIPS also continues to work closely with our partner agencies such as the Department of Children and Family Services, and as part of groups such as the Alliance to End Domestic Violence and the C.I. Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH), to spread awareness about gender-based violence, and to enhance and streamline the processes of the agencies who are responsible for assisting victims.

In-spite of these efforts, gender-based violence continues to be a major issue in the Cayman Islands. For the year 2020, for example, police investigated 2,288 incidents of domestic violence, and about 71% of these incidents involved female victims. This is why initiatives such as the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence are so important.

The initiative runs from 25 November: the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, to 10 December: Human Rights Day, and is supported by organisations worldwide, including the United Nations.

“While gender-based violence is a global concern we at the RCIPS remain committed to working with our partner agencies to do all we can to reduce the number of persons that become victims of such violence, and to reduce the recurrence of such acts of violence,” said Inspector Dausea Scott, head of the RCIPS Family Support Unit.  “For the year 2021 to date, the RCIPS has responded to 1,517 incidents of domestic violence, a reduction of 408 compared to the same period in 2020, and we hope to see a continued reduction in the numbers next year and beyond.”

As always, the RCIPS encourages anyone of any gender, who may be a victim of gender-based violence, to make a report to the RCIPS, or to any partner agency (see the list of partner agencies and their contact information below). If you are not comfortable making an official report, these partner agencies also offer various forms of support. We also encourage those who may know or suspect that someone else is experiencing such violence, to offer support in any way possible, which may also include reporting your suspicions through official channels.

“We are pleased to join global alliances and communities who are raising awareness and continuing to fight against gender-based violence, not just during these 16 days, but  all year-round,” added Commissioner of Police, Derek Byrne. “We look forward to a time when initiatives like this one are no longer a necessity.”

Key Numbers:

911 – Emergency Services (Or your local police station)

943-2422 – Cayman Islands Crisis Centre 24hr Crisis Line

649-5437 – Kids Helpline

949-1693 – Department of Community Rehabilitation

949-0006 – Family Resource Centre

949-8789 – The Counselling Centre

945-8869 – Legal Befrienders Clinic. *only available by phone Tuesdays & Thursdays 5:30-6:30pm*

949-0545 – Multi-agency Safe-guarding Hub (MASH)

946-0024 – Needs Assessment Unit

1-800-534-6463 – Mental Health Helpline

Estella’s Place (run by the Cayman Islands Crisis Centre) is also available for walk-in appointments. Call 949-0366 to make an appointment, or contact Carol-Anne Fordyce at 623-4825 or [email protected]

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