Combating gender-based violence

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‘Love Shouldn’t Hurt’ will be the second national gender-based violence forum organised by the Directorate of Gender Affairs, in collaboration with the University of the West Indies Open Campus in Antigua, where the event will be staged on February 22.

 The forum will be used as a way to tackle the issue of gender-based violence within the society and is focused on having conversations about love, relationships and restoration.

Directorate of Gender Affairs communications officer, Raisa Charles, said, while speaking with OBSERVER media, that this forum will give the public a better understanding of gender-based violence while building a stronger relationship between all communities and the Directorate of Gender Affairs. This is important, she said, because having a good relationship with the public allows the agency to know what is happening within the communities, helping it to respond to cases of gender-based violence.

Charles said that the event will include dance, theatre and spoken word poetry. Each performance will highlight an aspect of gender-based violence, while engaging the public and making individuals more conscious of gender-based violence and educating the audience about the services offered by the agency.

A question and answer session will follow the presentations when Directorate representatives focus the conversations on the various views of gender-based violence highlighted by the performances.

Charles said the agency has a number of programmes geared toward eliminating gender-based violence, including counseling sessions and legal aid. Some of these programmes have already started while others will be unfolding throughout the year.