It is with great sadness and hurt that this family Organization, Family Empowerment Movement Inc. (FEM Inc.), is writing this Press Statement to reflect recent and continued past Gender-Based Violence acts in Dominica. We are hurt by seeing so many family members, particularly children, who are hurting and starting a new year in unceasing tears without a mother or father or both, due to violence by unscrupulous individuals, mainly uncaring and unloving males. Such violent acts are also caused by women, but to a lesser extent and less devastating consequences.
Gender-Based Violence, including Domestic Violence, Child Abuse and Youth Violence, are having devastating negative impact on our families, acquaintances, villages, neighbourhoods, communities and nationwide. The evil consequences of Violence and Abuse continue to create and establish hate, vengeful thoughts and actions, division and lasting lack of trust.
How can you expect a young lady to sincerely fall in love and dwell wholeheartedly with a male when her mother was brutally killed, destroyed, by an uncaring and evil-minded man? How can you expect a male to feel comfortable with a female partner, knowing that his dad needlessly killed a woman, the mother of a child or children, primarily because of hatred, insincerity, obsession, power control, and the list goes on? What can be truthfully said to the children and impacted families of the Domestic Violence murdered victims on the last two days of the year 2022 as we, maybe gleefully, say to others “Happy New Year 2023”?
Why, men? Why women? Why can’t sincere love for one another prevail, as Christ taught and showed us? Why this false power control over our girls, women, boys and men, more so: over our girls and women? Love for girls and women should be about respect, dignity, integrity, tolerance, kindness, trusting, sharing, helping others grow and it is not destroying, deceiving, pretending, hating, preventing growth, or controlling. MEN, let us revisit our purpose in life, which is: To help God build His Kingdom. Mothers, wives, children are members of God’s Kingdom and you have no control over their lives. It is Equality and NOT Inequality that should thrive in relationships. Domestic Violence, Child Abuse and Youth Violence by anyone, but increasingly by males, destroy families and negatively impact relatives, friends, villagers, communities and the Nation in general.
Yes, we, both male and female, are aware that we are all subjected to challenges, difficulties, and other negativities in life, but we must, above all else, exercise self-control, which is one of the fruits of the Spirit and, also, we must all try our utmost to search for and identify ways to address and cope with these negativities in those challenging times. There is too much hate, envy and jealousy that are fuelling power control over others. Instead, let us look for ways to work with others for everyone to succeed and live a fulfilled, Christ-Filled life.
Recently, just before the end of December 2022, our family Organization Family Empowerment Movement Inc. (FEM Inc.), submitted a proposal to a leading family-oriented Institution for funding to address family life/Parenting, Bullying (particularly in the homes and at schools) and engaging the out of school youth (“Youth on the Block”). We pray that our proposal will be granted and we can soon begin work with our families with concentration on engaging boys and men so as to end all forms of Gender-Based Violence. We need to work closely with our boys and men and provide them with much needed Psychosocial intervention. Our FEM Inc. Organization is planning assiduously in creating a space to provide counselling and other essential services to help individuals and groups, both the abused and abusers.
In the meantime, we are calling on the authorities and other relevant providers to be more available for girls and women when they are reaching out, looking for intervention to stop the devastating abuses that they are being subjected to, be they child abuse, bullying, violence against women…These vulnerable persons need our intervention. Let us not wait for the assault, murder, disfiguring and more abuse to continue to occur before we provide them the safety and protection that they need from the unscrupulous, non-caring and troubled abusers. Let us also reach out to the abusers who also need help.
Let us also be mindful that there are also many boys and men who are also being verbally and physically abused by girls and women in the world of Gender-Based Violence: So sad that we call them “Marco” if and when they tell of their plight. Some/many boys and men are ridiculed and laughed at and they are even told to “Be a man!” and “Do not allow this!”, and “You are a Marco!” and they are urged to fight back, hit back. No, this is just making the situation worse and creating more pain and hurt and division in our beloved, God-given land.
It is also imperative that everyone who are aware of current acts of domestic violence speak up and stand up for what is right. Regardless of whether it affects you or a family or friend directly or not! Just knowing that a woman, girl, man or boy is being abused is enough to encourage you to speak out. Sometimes the victims are threatened if they decide to speak out and some are given the false impression that it is ok and normal. Let us be the voice of those who too scared to speak out or don’t know better.
Family Empowerment Movement Inc. (FEM Inc.) is playing its part and is always ready to work with any and all other institutions, including our government, other NGO’s and stakeholders, to address all forms of Gender-Based Violence and we want to create the essential space to provide the services to the abused and abusers. We all need to work in unison to uplift families, to promote love, care, respect, understanding, tolerance and acceptance: and to reject all forms of violence within our families.