KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, through its division — the Bureau of Gender Affairs — will continue dialogue with the Ministry of National Security, the Ministry of Justice, and other relevant agencies and civil society to find urgent solutions to the recurring violence against women in the country.
Portfolio Minister, Olivia Grange, made the announcement in the House of Representatives today. Grange was responding to last week's brutal murder of 20-year-old Khanica Jackson, of a Portmore address, who went missing on Wednesday.
The minister said that her ministry is also in discussions with the Social Development Commission (SDC) as “they are into community action and development” and have an islandwide network.
She added that the Bureau will continue to promote male mentorship programmes in schools so that boys may develop new and more positive approaches in their relationship with girls and women.
Noting that the Bureau of Gender Affairs' 24-hour helpline is always open, Grange encouraged the public to “speak now before another woman or girl dies”.
The minister also outlined the following interventions being made at the Bureau to address the long-term issue of violence against women:
- The Refocus Perpetrators Programme which aims to provide alternative conflict resolution and rehabilitation techniques as options for men involved in intimate partner violence. The minister said this programme starts in April;
- Know Your Rights Information Sessions which aims to increase knowledge and awareness within the community on the Sexual Harassment (Prevention) Act and Domestic Violence Act;
- Stand Up, Talk Up Information Sessions which aims to sensitise men and women to the issues surrounding intimate partner violence, positive masculinity, sexual harassment at the workplace and child abuse;
- Increased sensitisation on the male crisis helpline which the minister said many men are not aware of. She noted that the Bureau will be taking to the streets and communities and hope to get help from the SDC to put this information by way of fliers in barber shops, bars, churches, etc. where men usually converge.