End violence... against allFriday, April 09, 2021
The tears continue to flow; the emotions and the pain continue to be felt for the shortened lives of females who have been senselessly killed here in Jamaica.
The gruesome death of young Khanice Jackson has reignited the protest for an end to violence against women. While the cries and outrage are legitimate, we should seek to address the root causes of the problem so that the wrong message is not sent in our quest for justice.
The focus has been on ending violence against women, and to a lesser extent children. But does this, in any way, imply that there is not a need to end violence against men? Does this imply that the lives of women are more valuable than men? Does this imply that if this is done Jamaica's crime problem will be solved?
Now, if the answer to any of the above questions is no, then we need to analyse and refocus our mission.
Statistics have shown that violent male deaths have far surpassed that of women every year. The year 2017 was a record one for violent female deaths, with a total of 167, which brought the outcry similar to what is happening at this time. In that same year there were over 1,400 male deaths that brought about no outcries.
Fast-forward four years and we find ourselves in the same situation. What is highlighted is that there are fundamental issues to be addressed and critical questions to answer such as: What is the cause for our yearly high murders rate? Why are our people so 'cross, angry and miserable'? How were we socialised to settle disputes? And, why are there so many illegal guns on our island?
Stopping violence against women does not fix Jamaica's crime problem, or bring relief to the heart of a mother, wife, daughter or sister who has lost their male relative. Still, the argument that men are the ones killing women is no more comforting to the country than men killing men.
We need to re-strategise, refocus, and redouble our efforts in valuing everyone's life equally. No violence! Against black, white, men, women, or children.
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