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Story Highlights

  • The Jamaica AIDS Support for Life (JASL) is undertaking a media campaign to address violence against women and girls (VAW/G) within the context of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).
  • The media campaign will involve the airing of public service announcements during prime time, and the use of social media to sensitise Jamaicans about VAW/G and encourage action so as to reduce its occurrence.
  • During the media campaign launch, JASL, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, also unveiled its revamped interactive website.

The Jamaica AIDS Support for Life (JASL) is undertaking a media campaign to address violence against women and girls (VAW/G) within the context of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).

The launch took place on Wednesday (March 2) at the Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston.

Girls and Women in Jamaica are said to be disproportionately vulnerable to violence and, by extension, HIV infection. Women also experience more discrimination based on sexuality, HIV status, disability and economic status.

Programme Development Manager, Davina Gayle-Williams, said that “from this multimedia campaign, JASL expects that the reality of VAW/G and its effects on HIV will not only create widespread awareness, but also effect some change in attitude and behaviour among women, men and children.”

The media campaign will involve the airing of public service announcements during prime time, and the use of social media to sensitise Jamaicans about VAW/G and encourage action so as to reduce its occurrence.

Surveys and focus group discussions will be employed to analyse the reach of the media campaign.

Guest speaker of the event, Patricia Donald Phillips, presented several findings on VAW/G and its debilitating effects on its victims. She encouraged attendants at the event to rally against the scourge.

Executive Director of JASL, Kandasi Levermore, said the agency has been working to support victims of violence.

“At Jamaica AIDS Support for Life, we operate clinics in three parishes. We expanded our clinics, engaging full-time psychologists in all three chapters so that there is always someone to talk to. Persons can get the necessary counselling to deal with issues. We have partnered with a number of agencies to put tangible solutions in place,” she said.

During the media campaign launch, JASL, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, also unveiled its revamped interactive website.

The media campaign forms part of the Expanding Gains to Decrease and Prevent Violence against Women in the Context of HIV and AIDS project, now in its final year. It is being funded by the United Nations Trust Fund to End VAW.