October 26, 2020

Silent and defiant march makes statement


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Marchers made their way in silence from the Glass House to the Legislative Assembly

“The Power To Make a Difference – Through Action” was the theme of this year’s Silent Witness march through George Town, intended to draw attention to domestic violence.

The march, organised by the Business and Professional Women’s Club (BPW) began at the Glass House lawn, and ended with a special presentation in front of the Legislative Assembly.

The Silent Witness movement began in 1990 when a group of writers and female artists at a Minnesota college decided it was time to speak out about the escalating number of women killed by domestic violence in their area. Since then, the movement has become international, and is observed in 47 US states, ad well as 18 countries around the world. The marchers carry red silouettes made out of foam plastic, which represent those who have been killed at the hands of a husband or partner.

During the presentation in front of the Legislative Assembly, BPW club member Linda Mcfield said:

Heather Anderson, President of the Business and Professional Women’s Club.

“We need to ensure that more people know and understand that domestic violence is not a private matter, it is a critical national problem that affects us all, in every community, every workplace, and every school.

“Men can also be victims of domestic violence, but very often they are too ashamed to tell others about their problem, as they think they might lose face by doing so.

BPW President Heather Anderson spoke about the effect domestic violence and abuse has on the children who grow up there:

“They see the physical abuse, they see the tears, they see the pain, they feel the hurt,” she said. “Kids don’t miss much, but what many people don’t realise is that when kids see this type of thing it changes them forever.

“Abusers are cowards and bullies, and they often commit their crime when they know no one else is around. They use fear to keep their victims silent, and if people don’t stand up to them the behaviour continues. We need to

The march was intended to draw attention to domestic violence

stand up and support those being hurt and encourage them to get professional help that is available on the Island, with such services as the Crisis Centre, among others. To the victims of abuse I say, ‘take your life back.’ If you’re currently in a situation where you know you’re not being treated right, please don’t think that there aren’t any options.

Hon Mike Adam, Minister of community affairs, Gender Affairs and Housing said: “Domestic violence is an infection that has weakened the underpinnings of our society structure. It affects our homes, schools, work places, communities, our economy, and our families are often torn apart by this horrific crime.”

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