ANGUILLA–A full programme of activities has been announced for the “16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence”. It includes the observance of International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (November 25), International Human Rights Defenders Day (November 29), World AIDS Day (December 1), International Day of Persons with Disabilities (December 3) and Human Rights Day (December 10).
The theme in Anguilla this year is “Be a Pillar”. It is encouraging men and women to be a pillar to stop domestic and gender-based violence, end child sexual abuse, and stand against stigma and discrimination.
Minister of Social Development Dee-Ann Kentish Rogers opened the programme on Tuesday, November 24, with the rather startling news that Anguilla has seen a spike in domestic violence cases by over 88 per cent since the lockdown and travel restrictions due to COVID-19. And that is only the cases reported to the police. “It is important to ask one simple question,” she said. “How can I help? And sometimes it starts with examining our own thoughts and action. I invite you to join us as we undertake being the pillars that create the sound structure to weather any hurricane, any virus, or any affliction, in order to keep our people safe.”
She suggested that during the 16 days everyone should: Be a Pillar to Stop Domestic and Gender-based Violence in Anguilla; Be a Pillar to End Child Sexual Abuse in Anguilla; and Be a Pillar to Stand against Stigma and Discrimination in Anguilla.
Activities include performances by dance and drama groups, panel discussions, radio programmes, a health fair and self-defence workshops for women. One of the unique activities will be a Walk with a Difference on International Day of Disabled Persons, December 3. Participants will be challenged and gain first-hand experience by being blindfolded, being in a wheelchair, having arms bound and walking with one leg bound. Human Rights Day on December 10 will see several activities to be announced later. It will include the memorandum of understanding (MOU) signing for the launch of Anguilla’s Domestic Violence Hotline.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/16-days-of-activism-against-gender-based-violence-begins