Directorate of Gender Affairs issues statement on gender based violence

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The Directorate of Gender Affairs would like to express its condolences to the family and loved ones of Ms.
Althea Henry, who lost her life at the hands of gender based violence. We also wish her son, Mr. Tajma
Francis a speedy recovery from the injuries he sustained during the unfortunate incident.
Gender based violence continues to be a persistent affliction that affects many individuals in Antigua and
Barbuda every day. The Directorate of Gender Affairs has recognized this and continues to take a proactive
approach towards raising awareness on the issue and implementing programmes and policies geared
towards eradicating it completely. The Support and Referral Centre continues to serve as one of the
national coordinating mechanisms to gender based violence, and is open to provide support to individuals
who need assistance.
Gender based violence comes in many forms such as verbal, emotional, psychological and economic abuse.
It is important for persons to recognize this, as these forms of gender based violence can also have
detrimental effects on a person’s well-being and can impede upon their ability to function effectively and
to have healthy relationships with those around them. Additionally, these forms of gender based violence
often precede physical abuse. We encourage the general public to look out for warning signs that someone
may be abusive, as this can help reduce the likelihood of the relationship escalating to a level where
gender based violence occurs. Some common signs that can be looked out for are jealous behavior,
possessiveness, a temper, controlling behavior, consistent verbal insults and attempts to encourage
isolation from friends and family.
It is important to recognize that individuals who are experiencing gender based violence all have their own
unique challenges and experiences that may contribute towards how they cope with it and if and when
they seek assistance. If you know someone who is experiencing gender based violence, you can support
them by making them aware of the resources that are available to them whether it be police intervention,
accessing the support and referral center, legal aid, or receiving psychosocial support. This approach
should help to assure the person and lead to them getting the help that they need.
The Directorate of Gender affairs operates a 24/7 national gender based violence hotline at 463-5555 and
trained professionals are there to offer assistance to all. We encourage the general public to focus on
fostering positive relationships and to promote positive and violence free conflict resolution.

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