More protection for members of the disabled community- Grange
Members of the disabled community who are suffering from domestic abuse will now be better able to access State resources to get help and expand their knowledge of gender-based violence.
Three text lines have been set up by the Bureau of Gender Affairs for victims of gender-based violence, including hearing impaired individuals, to access in case of an emergency.
Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Olivia Grange spoke about the initiative at the Stand-up, Talk up Public Forum at the Courtleigh Auditorium in New Kingston recently.
The minister said that a social worker from the Bureau of Gender affairs will always have that phone ready and waiting as part of the first level intervention initiative offered by the Bureau for victims of gender-based violence.
She also noted that the Bureau of Gender Affairs will have all of its knowledge products embossed into Braille so that visually impaired members of the society can access the resources and become more sensitised and aware of gender-based violence.
According to Minister Grange, the Bureau of Gender Affairs has already reached out to the Jamaica Society for the Blind to have the resources transferred into Braille, but was informed that the embossing machine was not working as a particular part was in need of repair.
Consequently, the Minister announced at the forum that she was donating the funds that are required to fix the machine and handed over a symbolic cheque for $150,000, which was collected by Kay-Ann Samuels from the Jamaica Society for the Blind.
The Minister told the forum that she had promised during last year’s International Day of the Elimination of Violence against Women (IDEVAW) Public Forum to ensure that persons who are living with disabilities are included in all the programmes, after highlighting that members of the disabled community require increased attention regarding gender-based violence.
“I made the promise or the commitment that moving forward I would ensure that the Bureau of Gender Affairs continues to make a great effort in ensuring that this vulnerable group is included in all programmes, initiatives or policies and legislation within the Bureau of Gender Affairs activities,” she said.
“So, my disability family you will always have my support, the support of the Ministry and the support of the Bureau and we will continue to implement initiatives and programmes to ensure that your needs and challenges are included and valued,” Ms Grange added.
The public forum was held in commemoration of the IDEVAW, which was observed on November 25.
It is part of 16 days of activism against gender-based violence, which will end on December 10. The activities include Stand up, Talk up Conference, IDEVAW Gospel Concert, National Rights Day and the reading of IDEVAW statement in parliament and the pinning of purple ribbons on parliamentarians and senators.