If you want to hurt someone, or if you want to escape a domestic violence situation, confidential help is available says Gender and Child Affairs Minister Ayanna Webster-Roy.
Her comments came days after Adeina Alleyne, 35, was stabbed to death by her husband Dwight Waldrop inside his Embacadere, San Fernando home in front of their children. Waldrop later committed suicide.
Saying yesterday that the Government had zero tolerance for violence, Webster-Roy noted, “We must all stand in solidarity for a zero tolerance of this unwanted and unwarranted violence.”
She said the Gender Affairs Division has various programmes in place to combat violence.
“Human life is irreplaceable and sacred and this should be emphasised throughout one’s life and personal development. There will always be differences of opinion, tensions, hostilities and ambivalences between men and women, but this cannot be the solution to addressing these conflicts,” Webster-Roy said.
“The onus is on all of us to take responsibility for our thoughts, attitudes and behaviours toward violence, knowing that there are a penalty and a price that is paid when people act from a place of anger and hate.”
The minister also said no one should suffer in silence and the community must speak out.
“You can help! You see, you hear, you know it is happening: You must help. If you care and want to protect, you will not resort to violence or promote a culture of violence,” she said.
“We must take back control of our communities and families from these evil forces. It must be a collaborative effort. It must start with you supporting the safety and security of those who live in your community.”
Webster-Roy also called on all faith-based organisations, church leaders, community organisations and their members, community leaders, state agencies and their staff, trade unions, all employers, non-government organisations and academic organisations to support the zero tolerance for family violence.
The minister said it was important for the community to keep an eye out for the innocent young boys and girls.
“Take action, even if taking action involves calling the police or making a suitable intervention. Take action, even if taking action simply means referring your friend for help or talking to your brothers and your partners,” Webster-Roy said.
How to get help
Through the Ministry of Social Development and Family Services, Minister Webster-Roy says free and confidential counselling is available for all, including those who believe that they are a risk to others.
Additionally, the Gender Affairs Division of the Office of the Prime Minister has partnered with Eutelmed and UNICEF to offer free and confidential e-counselling services, which is available 24/7.
To access this e-counselling service, one can log on to caring.eutelmed.com and enter the password code: UNICEF-ECA to receive help from competent counsellors who are willing and ready to provide a listening ear and professional advice. If you need help, please call the police at 999, National Domestic Violence hotline at 800-SAVE (7283), Children’s Authority at 996 and ChildLine at 131.