PRESS RELEASE – IN spite of the progress women have made over the years, many women still continue to bear the brunt of society’s social problems. Some still continue to be victims of domestic and other abuse, poverty, lack of skills and low social status and low self- esteem.
Much of the effort to alleviate the status of women focused on getting the males to change their attitude towards women through stricter laws and threats of penal justice. This approach has not worked well over the years, and while we continue to advocate for stricter laws, we need to widen our approach to the problem.
Very often change can only be achieved by changing oneself. In addition to focusing on ensuring that adequate laws exist to protect women, and that these laws are enforced, much more work needs to be done to ensure that our children are raised to be peaceful, caring, law abiding citizens, and not adults who are abusive, or who will tolerate abuse.
Abusive males are mostly raised by mothers. What makes a man raised by a woman become abusive to females? What makes a female tolerate abuse? These are questions we need to ask ourselves, and until we can figure this out, and fix it, domestic violence will continue.
We need to stop putting violence in categories and separate abuse of females from abuse of children. Children live what they learn. A child is not born violent, but becomes violent based on his experiences in life. If we want to correct patterns of abusive behavior we need to ensure that our children are raised in a non-violent, loving environment.
As a stop –gap we need to encourage more foster parenting and supervised Legal Adoption, rehabilitation for our pregnant teenagers and more assistance to people that are neglected, abandoned and abused that cannot be accepted by shelter.
Education is of PARAMOUNT IMPORTANCE to enable economic independence for women who have no choice but to turn to another man when they find themselves in abusive relationships.
The St. Lucia Crisis Centre continues to work assiduously in its quest to support its mandate to reduce and eliminate all forms of abuse despite its many daunting challenges. However, more needs to be done to address the many societal issues that continue to plague our beautiful country and this can only be achieved through our joint efforts.
Violence eradication, particularly violence against women and children need the support of all government departments, the police and the public in general.
May Mrs. Ione Erlinger Ford’s legacy live on!!