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Seventh-Day Adventist Church Pastor Robern Castle prays with members during a motorcade against gender-based violence at the Santa Maria recreational grounds in Moruga yesterday.

As Seventh Day Adventists around the world observed World Youth Day yesterday, the message from young activists in Moruga was clear: “Women must never suffer in silence.”The quiet countryside communities between Santa Maria and Marac were filled with prayer and praise as five Seventh Day Adventists churches in the area joined a “Protecting our Women” motorcade yesterday.Robern Castle, the pastor of the La Lune and La Ruffin Seventh Day Adventist Church, said men need to understand that violence against women is unnecessary as there are ways to resolve issues that can work out well for all involved.“There really is no need to be violent against women for any reason. I would tell men to study the Word of God because the Word of God presents a different picture. If you have issues with women, what you should try to do is work it out, sit down and talk,” he said.

“If you cannot sit down and talk, you would need a mediator. Get somebody who you can talk to and work through the issues and challenges.”

The young pastor said society suffers because the world is experiencing too much hatred.“Nobody cares about one another. Nobody loves one another.”

Janey Joseph, an activist in the Adventist Youth Department, said the church has a Women’s Ministry Department and members visit homes to counsel families. If they cannot enter, they counsel the women in the church, offering food assistance and shelter services. She said in cases where they cannot reach the men, her advice is for women to leave.“Leave, don’t stay because eventually, he will kill you,” Joseph said.She said the motorcade aims to educate the men of Moruga that women are important and should be treated as such. She said God created male and female to stand side by side.

Moruga/Tableland MP Michelle Benjamin joined the motorcade, saying that she stands in solidarity with the fight against gender-based violence. Benjamin said as a young woman, she values her safety.“We must reach out to the community. We must know that we have an ear, and we do not have to stay in silence and allow for the violence to be perpetrated upon us. As women, we have to stand strong. We have to know that our households depend on us, the community depends on us, and we have to reach out and say enough is enough,” Benjamin said.