November 18, 2019

End gender-based violence

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16 days of activism against gender-based violence

The Department of Counselling Services’ Family Resource Centre is joining other organisations internationally to participate in the annual 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence campaign. This observance, which runs from 25 November to 10 December, is used by individuals and groups to call for the elimination of all forms of violence against women.

Under the theme “”Together we can End Gender-Based Violence in Education”, this year’s focus is to continue to build awareness and allow survivors to bear silent witness.

The ’s activities in observance of this campaign include the , an informational resource session and the distribution of “16 Ways for 16 Days” Campaign poster.

The Clothesline Project offers the opportunity to publicly air the issue of violence in our homes and communities. The project brings together survivors of all forms of violence or supporters of victims/ survivors to design T-shirts as a testament to their experience. Recognising that males may also be victims of violence (as witnesses or victims as children and as adults), their participation is also welcomed.

The Family Resource Centre (FRC) will be facilitating the Clothesline Project at Her Majesty’s Prison Service facilities and the Cayman Islands Crisis Centre’s Taya Lounge. Members of the public are encouraged to participate by decorating T-shirts at the FRC on Wednesday, 6 December at 12 p.m.

At the start of 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, the clotheslines were displayed at the Health Services Authority Women’s and at the George Town Post Office. Now they will be exhibited at other district health centres across Grand Cayman until the end of the observance.

The initiative, which has been emulated across the world, is viewed as an effective educational and healing tool.

“We consistently see a spike in domestic violence incidents in December,” said Minister of Health, Hon. Dwayne Seymour. “This initiative is seen as a strong and powerful way to help survivors confront their experiences and to raise awareness of such crimes in the community.”

“The concept works on many levels,” said FRC’s Acting Programmes Coordinator Charmaine Miller.
“Survivors of gender-based violence can decorate the t-shirt with words and images that relate to their personal experience of such crimes. They can also use it to come to terms with pent up feelings concerning the crime.”

“At the same time observers learn more about the ramifications of gender-based violence by looking at the t-shirts. In this manner all concerned can move forward and be better informed about the psychological toll of such crimes.”

Tying in with the displays, the Family Resource Centre will hold a resource session at its offices on North Sound Way on Wednesday, 6 December, 6 p.m. to 7.30 p.m.

The session will be for the public to learn more about the resources available to domestic violence survivors. It will be held in partnership with local family welfare agencies including the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (M.A.S.H.), the Department of Children and Family Services, and the Cayman Islands Crisis Centre.

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