Human Services Ministry launches Community Advocates Network against gender-based violence

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The Human Services and Social Security Ministry, on Wednesday, launched its Community Advocates Network (CAN)- aimed at bringing strong community awareness and activism in the fight against violence against women and children.

Subject Minister, Dr. Vindhya Persaud, in her address, reminded that gender-based violence has been a long-standing issue and global problem. As such, she urged persons to join the fight against these issues

“We need to not be blind, we need to not be dismissive, we need to hear the repeated cries for help, we need to look beyond the physical and understand the emotional scars…we need to hold people accountable,” Minister Persaud said. To this end, she noted that gender-based violence is a “social issue” that cannot be ignored anymore.

Minister Persaud added, “Violence against women and girls can happen anytime to anyone behind closed doors. It does escape because of a certain socio-economic level, it does not escape because of a person’s profession or their standing in society.”

She urged the advocates to stand with the ministry, and survivours of gender-based and sexual violence while noting that it is important to build confidence.

“We need to ensure that there is confidence, confidence in the world, confidence in society, confidence in each one of us so when they (victims) speak, when they muster up the courage within to share those terrible experiences, they know there will be a helping hand, an ear to listen and a number of people to say I stand with you.”

The launch was held at Parliament Building and was attended by members of the Diplomatic Corps and Cabinet. There, they all pledge to listen to those experiencing violence with empathy, break the silence on violence against women and girls, educate themselves and take informed action on the issue.

Minister Persaud thanked all the participants and urged them to take their pledge with them wherever they may go and continue to fight against violence against women.

“I can, you can, we can; we’ve had enough with the violence,” Minister Persaud said in closing remarks.

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