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Victims of domestic violence are being urged to seek help from agencies and stakeholders that can offer assistance.
The call was made by Deputy Superintendent of Police, Herold Newton, during a Domestic Violence sensitisation seminar, held in Annotto Bay, St. Mary, on November 30.
According to Superintendent Newton, over the past few months there has been an increase in the number of domestic disputes resulting in serous injuries, murders and the dismantling of families in the parish of St. Mary.

Participants in the Domestic Violence seminar, held in Annotto Bay, St. Mary, on November 30, collecting pamphlets and other educational material on display.

He said the JCF has collaborated with agencies, such as the Bureau of Women’s Affairs and the Social Development Commission, in planning a number of interventions, aimed at reducing these incidents. These include workshops and seminars in Port Maria, Highgate and other communities across the parish that have exhibited a high rate of domestic violence.
Emphasising that education is one way to significantly reduce the causes of these offences, the Deputy Superintendent said, “once educated, you will want to practise what is taught.”
He called on persons not to “sit in the situation and hope for it to change, but take action, substantial enough to cause a change.”
Meanwhile, Social Development Commission Parish Manager for St. Mary, Jeanette Rose-Bryan, said the agency was pleased to be a part of the intervention programme, as making the community safe was a part of the Commission’s mandate.

Tamara Slue, a resident of St. Mary, sharing a recent experience in her community, while participating in a Domestic Violence seminar, held in Annotto Bay, St. Mary on November 30.

Mrs. Rose-Bryan said concern about domestic violence in the parish this year has prompted the relevant agencies and stakeholders to rigorously address the issues that have contributed to this situation.
She said the seminar focused on gender roles and how the family structure can promote values in young people that will allow them to acquire conflict resolution skills.
“We will continue to work with all agencies and community based organisations to decrease the incidents of domestic violence and murders in our parish,” she added.
Mrs. Rose-Bryan called on the students who participated in the seminar to use what they have learnt to make a difference in their schools, homes and their communities.
Tamara Slue, a resident of the parish, said, “domestic violence need to stop, as too many young people are being killed,” adding that persons who are abused should “not remain in the situation, but instead seek professional help.”
Grade 10 student of Oracabessa High School, Anthony Marsh, said the seminar has taught him to treat others with respect. He said demonstrating the skills that set a good example will help others to do the same.
Participants at the seminar included students from Oracabessa High, Carron Hall High, Islington High, Annotto Bay Primary and High Schools; representatives of Police Youth Clubs and Neighbourhood Watches and residents from Annotto Bay.