by Carissa Williamson – Bahamas Information Services
The Office of the Spouse of the Prime Minister held an event on Wednesday at the University of The Bahamas to discuss the impact and encourage the end of gender-based violence.
Under the theme, ‘Unite! Activism to end Gender-Based Violence’, Mrs. Ann Marie Davis, of the Office of the Spouse of the Prime Minister, representatives from various non-governmental organizations and the Royal Bahamas Police Force brought stories, data, and possible solutions that will curb and eventually bring an end to gender-based violence in The Bahamas.
The event took place during the United Nation’s “16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence” as a way to further highlight the dangers and effect of gender-based violence occurring locally and abroad.
According to Mrs. Davis, while events are very poignant to keeping the discussion at the fore, the onus is on the community at large to be more proactive in the fight against gender-based violence.
“We need improvement. Whenever we see abuse, we have to stomp it out. All of us have to work and stomp it out. We must push for policy changes, sensitivity training, and other resources needed to ensure that we have the right laws and policies in place to protect all the victims of gender-based violence, hold their attackers accountable, and provide them with the financial, mental, emotional, and spiritual support that they need to bounce back,” she said.
Those who also brought remarks include: Claudius Cole, advocate for Conflict Resolution, Phillipa Dean of the Dignified Girls Project, Dave Williams of the International Men’s Association, Eric Fox of the NGO Anger Management, and Inspector Kendra Whyms of the Royal Bahamas Police Force.
The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence began on November 25, 2022, the “International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women” and ends on December 10, 2022, “Human Rights Day.”
Silence is the ultimate enemy of the goal to end gender-based violence, according to Mrs. Ann Marie Davis, as victims living in silence and the community moving in silence allows abuse to be further perpetrated.
“Do not sit still and do nothing. Do something about it. End that silence. Break that silence. Push back. Report it. Say something,” she said.