Minister of Social Services and Urban Development, the Hon. Frankie Campbell, told delegates attending a one-day gender-based intervention and prevention workshop that they must help to create an environment of non-violence while adopting a ‘zero tolerance’ approach to violence. Addressing the Gender-Based Violence Intervention, Prevention and Social Development Capacity-Building Workshop for internal staff of the Ministry of Social Services and Urban Development that was hosted by the Department of Gender and Family Affairs, Minister Campbell applauded staff of the Department of Gender and Family Affairs for taking an integrated approach to the workshop. Minister Campbell said an integrated approach takes into consideration the needs and safety of victims of gender-based violence, addressing the root cause of violence, and finding ways to decrease the number of perpetrators of gender-based violence.
Facilitated by officials of the Department of Gender and Family Affairs, Ministry of Social Services and Urban development, the workshop was attended by staff of the Ministry of Social Services and Urban Development, the Department of Social Services, the Department of Gender and Family Affairs, the Department of Rehabilitative and Welfare Services, and the Urban Renewal Commission. “While it is very, very important that we continue to focus on the victims of gender-based violence — the cycle of violence will only continue if we do not have this integrated approach to ending gender-based violence — where we focus on the victims, and also find ways to decrease the number of perpetrators,” Minister Campbell said. “The only way that is going to happen is for us to start at the root: for us to address the root cause of violence.
“As we discuss this whole question of violence, and we are saying gender-based violence for this particular setting, the truth is we must adopt and promote a zero tolerance for all violence. “Saying ‘no’ to violence should not just mean saying no to hitting, but also that we be mindful of how we speak violence; how we speak violently. “It is my firm belief that if we speak peace to each other; that if we speak to each other with a greater degree of affection, it will engender the kind of environment where violence is not even a question. “And so as we gather for such an important and deliberate capacity-building, gender-based violence intervention workshop, it is incumbent that you open your hearts to share best practices, protocols