A call to end domestic violence

POSTED: 04/24/12 12:21 PM

The Safe Haven Foundation expresses its sincere sympathy to the families and friends of the late Mrs. Cheryl Withrite and Mister Cleon Bourne who lost their lives in such a horrific tragedy.

This tragic event brings up so much sadness and frustration. Why frustration?

So many unanswered questions: Could this tragedy have been prevented? Is this tragedy something that came out of the blue? Why did the neighbors contact the landlord and not the police? I don’t have the answers because I don’t know all the facts. But what I do know is that abuse that ends with murder has a history of domestic violence in the relationship.

Safe Haven is bringing awareness to the general public about domestic violence in our community.

On every occasion we inform the public through events or media about domestic violence and the importance of getting involved in the prevention or elimination of abuse.

One of the myths about domestic violence is that it is a personal problem between a husband and a wife or family members..

Again and again we stress that domestic abuse is not a private matter but a matter that concerns the whole community. Domestic violence affects everyone.

About 1 in 3 American women have been physically or sexually abused by a husband or boyfriend at some point in their lives. (Commonwealth Fund, Health Concerns Across a Woman’s Lifespan: the Commonwealth Fund 1998 Survey of Women’s Health, 1999)

In 1996, 30% of all female murder victims were killed by their husbands or boyfriends. (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 1997)

These are figures from the States but here on our little island domestic abuse and the effects are significant too. Despite the fact that Safe Haven has worked for longer than a decade to halt the epidemic of gender-based violence and sexual assault, the situation is still alarming and shocking.

I believe that it is time for a national pledge, from the Prime Minister down to parliament and the general public all across the island to end violence against women and men, girls and boys.

This effort must also be carried on in workplaces, schools, churches, and in courtrooms, law enforcement, entertainment and the media. Let’s continue our work to end this violence and we hope you join us in our quest against domestic abuse.


Hotline: 9333

Loyola Seymonson

Safe Haven Director

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