noimageDomestic Violence is unfortunately an increasing issue in our country. Today the Women’s Department launched the 16 Days of Activism to promote awareness on the issue. Activities will be held countrywide to educate the public as well as to celebrate the role of women in our communities. Sixteen days of activism is an international campaign to empower women to break the silence, says Program Coordinator for Women’s Issues Centre of Belize, Sheena Gentle.

Sheena Gentle Program coordinator for Women’s Issues Centre of Belize

“The sixteen days of activity is something that is done internationally, it is an international campaign and each year most countries around the world celebrate it at the same time as we do so this is something that we have been doing for some year now in Belize and each year we have a different theme and so this year theme is to Settle to end gender base violence, I would like to let everyone to know men and women that domestic violence end with us we have that decision to make to end it and we can help our friends that they can do that and that we are here to support them that they can talk to us that they can come out it is never too late for them to step out of a bad situation because if we don’t want them to end up a lot of the time these men know that they do intent to hurt them and so that is what we want women to understand that there is a way out and it is never too late to break the silence around that .”

Stigma and discrimination pose barriers that prevent women to come forward and report domestic abuse against them. But this must change, says Gentle as women must be empowered and take a stand.

Sheena Gentle Program coordinator for Women’s Issues Centre of Belize

“A lot of women right now are going through domestic violence but because of the shame and stigma that is often associated with reporting so they don’t come out to report so one of the things that we know that is going right now is that there is a lot of more avenues for women to access the service; there is the police department, there is the women department in each district there is the domestic violence unit and there are other women who are willing to assist them with service so that they can get help and get out of that situation.”

The 16 days of activism event will be celebrated across Belize by different institutions and departments. The calendar of events is yet to be published in the local newspaper but anyone can access the calendar of events at any Women’s Department.

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