Basseterre, St. Kitts, November 30, 2015 (SKNIS): Victims of domestic abuse and advocates against such took to the streets of Basseterre on Friday evening to raise awareness about the issue which officials identify as damaging the fabric of society.
About 20 marchers, some bearing placards calling for an end to domestic violence, took part in the awareness activity which was organized by Woman2Woman. The march began at Independence Square and made its way down to the Bay Road, up Fort Street, across Central Street and back to the site for a rally.
President of Woman2Woman, Petra McSheene, said although the turnout was lower than expected, she was satisfied as it marked the first public event planned by her 13-month-old group.
“We wanted to heighten the awareness of persons to the many issues surrounding domestic violence and to increase the visibility of the group,” she said, expressing hope that more persons would find the courage to speak up and speak out.
A rally was held after the march on Friday evening featuring presentations from officials from the Departments of Gender Affairs and Youth Empowerment. Several names of victims of domestic violence between 1997 to 2015 were also read and a candle lit for each. All of the victims were not identified as some families opted not to participate.
Woman2Woman was started in October 2014. President McSheene credited the growth of the group in recent months to guidance received during the European Union-funded Youth Service Training Programme. The programme was designed by the Department of Youth Empowerment to essentially build the capacity of youth and youth organizations and engage them in playing a greater role in developing their community and country as a whole with a focus on at-risk youth.
Senior Youth Officer Pierre Liburd in the Department of Youth Empowerment, said he was pleased to see the initiative continue to bear fruit. He praised Woman2Woman for the increasing role it is playing in society to uplift females and males, as well as to provide comfort to the silently suffering.
Woman2Woman also holds monthly support meetings for persons involved with and affected by domestic abuse. Additional information about the group is available by telephone 664-2565 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.