Lindeners march against all forms of violence
As the Linden Mayor and Town Council (LM&TC) organized “Speak out, Speak up” march to end violence against women and children across the country got underway on Saturday, the message was clear: “No form of violence against women or children is acceptable”.Led by Linden Mayor Waneka Arrindell, the march commenced at the Bayroc Community Centre Ground and culminated at the Georgetown minibus park. In the spotlight was the newly formed community group ‘Fix her crown’, formed by a group of young women from Linden with the aim of lending support to persons affected by any form of abuse and domestic violence.In her address to the gathering, Arindell urged the community to stand together to “secure our children and look out for our families and friends” in the quest to stand against all forms of violence.She urged women not to be silent on the issue, as she pointed out that the LM&TC is working to create a safe home for affected women.“Women, speak out, speak up…The law is there for the lawless, and so let the law do what it has to do. Do not be afraid”, she urged.Linden Councillor Nikeza Noel also urged men to lead by positive example, and women to stand together against abuse.“Each woman has a story. We need to take the time to listen to that story… Tonight, women, arise! We will stand together, against every form of violence against our women and our girls… Today, women, take pride in what we’ve accomplished so far. I say thank you to the men who would have stood and taken up their positions, and (I say to them) you have taken care of us…,” she noted.Speaking on behalf of the Muslim community, Brother Jafar Mohamed called for stricter punishment for crimes against women. He pointed out that men are failing to properly take care of women. “…what we’re seeing today in society is as a result of us as men failing to liberate ourselves…in order to deal (with) and handle a woman properly…This failure, it has to do with spirituality, it has to do with economics, it has to do with morality, it has to do with social life.“We, as men, fail to prepare ourselves in a holistic way. Hence, when a woman enters our lives, we don’t know how to handle her properly”, he noted.Mohamed said that while it takes a village to raise a child, today’s community is doing something wrong. He added that when a woman is disrespected, an entire community is also disrespected.Meanwhile, Manager of the Gender- Based Bureau within the Ministry of Social Protection reiterated that no form of violence is acceptable, whether in schools, relationships, or in the home. He said the Social Protection Ministry, over the past 3 years, has implemented a number of programmes to address domestic and sexual violence.He encouraged all to get on board, noting that it cannot be a one-sided approach, and that no one should be alienated as it relates to sexual and domestic violence. He added that one of his tasks this year is to address the issue of negative masculinity, and he stressed that everyone has a role to play. He further urged women to report first instances of abuse, and everyone to be their neighbour’s keeper.