The Office of Gender Affairs will be hosting a number of initiatives across the territory for Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October, as part of their goal to raise awareness and get persons to take action.
Gender Affairs Coordinator Tara Sue Morgan told BVI News her department has already started targeting business places and churches about the undertaking.
“What happens is that when you go in these various societies you realise that there are persons who have certain myths in their heads about domestic violence and reporting it or in seeking help because some persons may not want to go to the police,” Morgan stated.
She further said several places available for victims of domestic violence to seek help. In the BVI, these include the Social Development Department, the Family Support Network, the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force, and the Office of Gender Affairs.
Domestic violence no joke
Morgan also stressed the serious nature of domestic violence and urged victims to come forward and seek help while they can.
“Domestic Violence is real and a lot of time persons keep it undercover because they think it is a private matter. They try to cover it up because they don’t want to lose their status or position, or they probably don’t want to leave that relationship. But what we want persons to understand is this is a serious matter. It is a serious crime, it goes against humanity and against one’s equality and so don’t accept it.”
She also said that with the many options available for persons to seek help, where one avenue may fall short, the other may succeed in rectifying the issue.
“It is not your fault if you are a victim. It doesn’t matter what the perpetrator says because there is no excuse for abuse. Seek help if one avenue doesn’t work for you there are other avenues out there that you can use.”
Wear purple October 31
Coordinator Morgan said her department is inviting residents to wear purple on October 31 in an effort to fully bring awareness to the subject.
She said: “What we are trying to do as a nation is to stand together to show that we are not going to accept domestic violence in this territory no more, there is no excuse for abuse.”
The theme this year is ‘Domestic Violence Awareness + Action = Life