In keeping with its quest to end gender-based violence (GBV), the Government launched the No Excuse for Abuse (#NEFA) public education campaign, Tuesday (December 4).
Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange, who officially rolled out the campaign during a public forum, entitled ‘Big Ooman and Big Man Chat: Addressing Intimate Partner Violence (IPV)’, at the Courtleigh Auditorium in New Kingston, said it is in keeping with ongoing efforts by the Administration to deal with the long-standing issue.
“The Government has been working to bring an end to gender-based violence through legislative, policy and programmatic actions that protect victims of violence; see to it that perpetrators are punished; ensure that the victims get redress, and, very importantly, build a culture in which there is no gender-based violence,” she said.
Ms. Grange noted that this is the first public education campaign for the three-year National Strategic Action Plan to Eliminate Gender-based Violence (NSAP-GBV) that was launched in 2017.
“#NEFA is not just another campaign to sensitise people about the horrific effects of violence against women. This campaign is guided by gender and behavioural change communication, and aims to destroy the conditions that condone, enable, ignore and treat violence against women as a normal part of life,” she said.
Ms. Grange argued that the NEFA is expected to result in increased public awareness on what is GBV; increased public awareness on GBV in Jamaica with a view to preventing it; and increased understanding of the roles of government and civil society in response to GBV.
The campaign will be targeted to women, aged 15 to 35; men, aged 15 to 40; perpetrators of abuse/violence; survivors of violence; persons experiencing violence; and persons witnessing or aware of violence.
“We are targeting everybody. We are going into the nook and crannies of Jamaica with our campaign. Not only will we have an excellent social media campaign, traditional media campaign, but we are going to have town hall meetings. We are going into over 700 communities across Jamaica. We are going to ‘tek it to dem’. We are going to go on the ground and we are going to ensure that the message: #NoExcuseForAbuse will penetrate this land,” Miss Grange emphasised.
The Minister informed that #NEFA will be placed on all collateral materials, and mentioned in news releases and features. Varying messages will be used to relay different thematic messages, and target groups supported through the findings of the Women’s Health Survey 2017.
In the meantime, Miss Grange appealed for well-thinking Jamaicans to assist victims of gender-based violence and not turn a blind eye.
“Let us listen to these women when they say that they have been abused or when they show signs of being abused. Let us listen to the voices of those who are still alive so we can help to save their lives. There is no reason to be silent and there is no reason to look the other way,” she said.
The forum, themed #NoExcuseForAbuse, was held in commemoration of International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (IDEVAW) and Sixteen Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence.
Among other things, the forum sought to raise awareness on intimate partner violence for the Women’s Health Survey; and to discuss community responsibility, services and intervention for victims, survivors and perpetrators of IPV.
It was staged by the Bureau of Gender Affairs in the Ministry of Culture. Gender, Entertainment and Sport, in partnership with the United Nations Women Caribbean and the UN Population Fund Sub-Regional Office for the Caribbean.
By: Alecia Smith