Speech

Mr. Speaker,
I rise in this Honourable House today, as Minister with the portfolio of Gender Affairs to join with all well-thinking Jamaicans to condemn and speak out against the recent brutal acts of violence against women which are part of the ‘horrific monster’ of gender-based violence.

Gender-based violence can be perpetuated in many forms such as psychological, physical, sexual and economic. It is a reflection of the culture of violence and silence and is reinforced by various structural and systemic inequalities in the home, in socio-economic systems and systems of justice.

The issue of gender-based violence is considered to be a complex characterization, as its private nature can sometimes reduce the likelihood of the victim or witness to report and often times leads to unfortunate cases of lives being lost, almost lost or individuals being injured.

The police report 34 murders in the first 11 days of this year, a slight increase from the 33 recorded over the same period last year. This includes some of our productive women and girls who are the backbone of our society.

This is well below the 57 murders recorded in the first 11 days of 2018, and the 41 in the corresponding period in 2017. With 36 cases of shooting recorded so far this year, the police note that this is one fewer than the 37 recorded to January 11 last year.

The number of rape cases has fallen dramatically, with nine reported cases so far this year, compared to 21 in the first 11 days of last year. This represents a 57 per cent decline.

There is a 69 per cent drop in the number of aggravated assault cases reported so far this year, with four incidents reported to the cops down from 13 last year.

The reported cases of robberies, break-ins and larceny are also down, with the police reporting 47 so far this year, compared to 63 in the same period last year.iolence and are often life-threatening and rob our families of hard-working and productive community members.

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