More abused women seeking support

November 25, 2021

Human rights group Jamaicans for Justice (JFJ) is urging people who have experienced gender-based violence (GBV) to consider getting legal support in order to claim their rights and access justice.

JFJ said that gender-based violence is a human rights violation.

Karlene McCallum, legal officer at JFJ, said that the COVID-19 pandemic has amplified the need for decisive measures to deal with gender-based violence.

"Although GBV is not a new issue, the pandemic has brought a new level of attention and urgency to the need to invest in prevention and in supports and services for victims and survivors. We've been seeing an uptick in the number of women reaching out for support from our organisation in this regard," she said.

JFJ said that since it launched its Justice for Persons Experiencing GBV Initiative in 2020, it has managed to help scores of people, primarily women, to access justice.

"In Jamaica, GBV remains widespread and prevalent across different socio-economic groups. Recent data suggests that approximately 28 per cent of Jamaican women have experienced physical or sexual violence in their lifetime," said Mickel Jackson, executive director at JFJ.

"At JFJ, while we provide avenues for legal recourse for people who have experienced GBV, we continue to conduct legal literacy sessions in several communities so that people are not only aware of their rights, but are also encouraged to make reports when they see rights of others being violated," Jackson added.

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