December 06, 2019
Minister of Social Services and Urban Development, the Hon. Frankie A. Campbell, Thursday applauded the more than 40 stakeholders and partners attending a Round Table Discussion on Gender-Based Violence (GBV) for their work to end GBV in The Bahamas.
“I am pleased to know that the challenges we are facing in the country with regards to Gender-Based Violence is getting serious attention from stakeholders who are committed to the cause,” Minister Campbell told the participants.
The Round Table Discussion was facilitated by The Bahamas Crisis Centre, in partnership with the Ministry of Social Services and Urban Development and its Department of Gender and Family Affairs (Thursday, December 5). Representatives from 15 organizations across the government and non-governmental sectors participated.
Minister Campbell said it was his expectation that strategies would be devised for better networking between ministries and departments of government, the non-governmental organizations, civil society, stakeholders and partners, and Faith-Based Organizations towards the vision of a Bahamas free from gender-based violence, as a result of the discussions.
“To all of the non-governmental organizations, particularly the smaller ones that are not funded but are doing it out of the love and compassion and that are using their personal resources, I say a special thank you. We need the partnership because we cannot do it alone and so I extend my gratitude to you.”
Minister Campbell also applauded the work of Dr. Sandra Dean-Patterson, the longtime Director of The Bahamas Crisis Centre whom Minister Campbell called: “a driving force in the movement to end Gender-Based Violence in The Bahamas.”
“I spent 29 years as a Police Officer and even before I joined the Royal Bahamas Police Force, I had been hearing about the work Dr. Sandra Dean-Patterson had been doing in The Bahamas to raise awareness with regards to ending domestic violence, gender-based violence and sexual violence. Madam, I commend you for the work that your organization has been doing over the past 37 years to address gender-based violence and sexual violence. I know that you have been a driving force and I am satisfied that your work has influenced many to join the fight. I am also satisfied that your work would have saved many.”
Minister Campbell also applauded Dr. Dean-Patterson and her team for organizing the Round Table Discussion in collaboration with the Department of Gender and Family Affairs, Ministry of Social Services and Urban Development and key stakeholders and partners.
The Minister challenged participants to consider expanding the discussions into the various communities in order to get even greater community support.
“I know you are going to come up with some good strategies that you are going to share with the ministry, but I also want you to come up with some strategies that will take us into the various communities so that persons residing in those communities may be able to walk in off the streets and have access to this kind of dialogue, have access to this message and perhaps be able to begin the process of addressing their particular situations,” Minister Campbell said.
“Many of the persons who need to hear this message; many of the persons who need the opportunity to be heard as a result of this message, won’t get an opportunity to join us in these types of fora. In order for us to have the effect that we need to have; to truly be working towards ending Gender-Based Violence, this needs to be a grassroots movement. This has to be a movement where we are prepared to multi-task; to roll up our sleeves and ensure that at the end of the day, we are able to say we visited every crack and crevice; that we visited every alley and byway, that we spoke to everyone who would allow us to speak to them and then, that we listened to everyone who felt they had something to say.
“I commend you all, I commend you for coming together and I commit to you, that as an individual, I look forward to a Bahamas where there is Zero Tolerance for GBV,” Minister Campbell added.
More than 40 representatives of 15 government and non-government organizations participated in Thursday's Round Table Discussion on Gender-Based Violence held in the Hearing Room, Department of Physical Planning, Aventura Plaza
Ms. Keva Bethel, of the non-governmental organization, The Family, addressing participants at Thursday’s Round Table Discussion on Gender-Based Violence. The event was facilitated by The Bahamas Crisis Centre in conjunction with the Department of Gender and Family Affairs, Ministry of Social Services an Urban Development.
Ms. Sharon Martin of the non-governmental organization, Caribbean Institute of Women in Leadership – CIWIL Bahamas - makes a point during Thursday’s Round Table Discussion on Gender-Based Violence.
Mrs. Leila Greene, The Bahamas Crisis Centre (foreground), and Dr. Nikkiah Forbes, National HIV/AIDS Programme were also among the participants at Thursday’s Round Table Discussion on Gender-Based Violence.
(BIS Photo/Matt Maura)