Rajiv Nehourah, left, along with Nerissa Maharaj, Rev Letra Jacob, Wendy Balgobin and members of Susamachar Presbyterian Church in San Fernando during the service yesterday.

Sascha Wilson

On Valentine’s Day when people were celebrating love, the Presbyterian Church lit candles in memory and honour of victims of crimes.

Condemning the overwhelming violence in the country, Rev Letra Jacob said two members of their congregation lost their loved ones to crime.

During her sermon at the Susumachar Presbyterian Church, in San Fernando, Jacob said a member’s sister disappeared after she went to transfer a vehicle at the Licensing Office while another member witnessed his mother being murdered.

Neither of them, she said, has gotten justice.

Noting that the Presbyterian Church has always been vocal about social, political and economic issues, she questioned, “Is anyone listening.”

Recalling a newspaper article where Andrea Bharatt’s father questioned whether the killers have a heart, she said it appears that they do not.

“Our nation is in grieving and pain. Our nation is still crying,” she said.

Calling for action, she said, “The time is now that good sense must prevail in doing what is right to protect the children, the women, and the people of this nation. In the environment of violence against women, most recently consumed with the grief over the death of Ashanti Riley and Andrea Bharatt, while we note a collapse, indeed, in the justice system, a collapse in the system that allows monsters to roam our streets and our community, we must understand that we cannot achieve justice for women and children alone.”

She said the whole system is in disarray.

“A society must want justice at its core for everyone and we have seen people coming out to light candles and vigils that were held not just in the name of Andrea Bharatt but in the names of those who have gone and the hurt that men and women feel in their homes.”

However, she said, education for boys and legislation alone will not solve the problem. Jacob called for a safe and reliable transportation plan for the travelling public.

“Our women and our girls seem to be most vulnerable when they have to travel, be it for their jobs or otherwise and the Government needs to contribute to the protection of our women as they travel on the nation’s road, be it night or day.