Black Immigrant Daily News
File photo: Ayanna Webster-Roy.
A government minister has called on the nation to unite and save “our families,” citing last weekend’s domestic violence incident, which left a 13-year-old boy from San Juan wounded in trying to protect his mother.
A statement on Wednesday from Ayanna Webster-Roy, said she offered her sincerest prayers for a speedy and full recovery for both mother and son.
She is the Minister with responsibility for gender and child affairs and the National Aids Co-ordinating Committee.
She said she joined the nation in condemning the violent act on the mother and the serious injury inflicted on the child, who came to her defence.
“Violence against women and children is preventable and the responsibility to put an end to these unwanted acts belongs to all of us. We will never see an end to violence against our women and children if we refuse to confront the culture, attitudes and behaviours that allow this abomination to thrive,” the statement said.
She said violence against our women and children is a societal issue, and ending it requires an all-of-society approach to ensure that families and communities are places of safety.
“As we continue to implement safeguarding mechanisms and encourage awareness on the needs of the most vulnerable in our society, I want to encourage families to seek out essential services upon the first sign of distress,” Webster-Roy said.
“Please do not wait. It may never get better with time or on its own.”
For counselling and other services, people can call the National Family Services Division of the Ministry of Social Development and Family Services at 623-2608, extensions 6701 to 6711 or Childline at 131 or 800-4321.
Webster-Roy reminded families, and the public, by extension, that all suspected cases should be reported to the relevant authorities in addressing matters of child abuse.
People can report it to the police at 999 and the Children’s Authority hotline at 996 or 800-2014.
People who want to report domestic/gender-based violence can call the National Domestic Violence hotline at 800-SAVE (7283) or the police.
Webster-Roy added, “Every life taken, every child emotionally or physically scarred is one too many.”
“The division stands in solidarity with every man, woman and child. Let us unite to end domestic violence and all forms of child abuse in our beloved country.”