16 days of activism to focus on ending femicide

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

THE TT Coalition Against Domestic Violence (CADV) will be calling for an end to femicide to break the cycle and murder rate involving women and girls for its annual campaign of 16 days of activism on the elimination of gender-based violence (GBV).

Femicide is the killing of women and girls on the basis of their sexuality and gender.

An average of 27 women have been killed each year between 2017 and 20221, according to police. Up to August 2022, 14 women have been killed this year.

At a media briefing at its Belmont headquarters on Thursday morning, members of the association lamented the community has failed to do its part in protecting the vulnerable from abuse.

It also felt not enough is being done to protect boys and men.

The International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on November 25 will mark the start of CADV’s campaign for zero tolerance and the elimination of GBV. It ends on December 10, on Human Rights Day.

During the campaign, CADV will feature work from organisations involved in children’s rights, gender-based, women’s rights, HIV and STI abuse, among others.

The campaign aims to highlight the experiences of women and girls of abuse, power and control, and inequity in homes and work. It will also raise concerns over unreported cases of violence against the LGBTQ community.

Lecturer at the Institute for Gender and Development Studies, UWI, Dr Angelique Nixon said while the state has improved its response to GBV through legislation and purpose-driven units, more must be done.

She reiterated her call for a comprehensive national strategy; monitoring the implementation of the Domestic Violence Act, training police to deal with domestic-violence matters, transition housing and increasing allocation to support abused survivors and victims.

The group also called for additional resources and support for civil-society organisations that provide services to survivors and victims.

CADV director Kevin Liverpool said violence against women and girls remains a very pervasive issue.

“From January 20221 to present, over 35 women have been murdered by their estranged partner… Oftentimes there is an uproar when a woman or a girl is murdered. But that is not the only violence abused women face and we must remain cognisant of this and vigilant to make changes.”

Liverpool said this change must first happen in the community before legislative changes can be demanded.