A look in the background of an abuser’s life may reveal that as a child they were abused or tortured. That is the view of coordinator of the Network of NGOs of T&T for the Advancement of Women Jacquie Burgess, who said what is deemed as discipline in some households may be violence.
“So when small children are beaten and they use the same methods for addressing their issues for any conflict they come into who is to be blamed?” she asked.
Burgess said when investigating or working with an abuser the first people she would talk to are the people who brought them up.
“Unless they know how to really use peace and negotiation even at a very young age to deal with their conflict I think we will be here for years dealing with this same thing because some people are not learning or changing their ways,” Burgess added.
She was speaking at a breakout session on gender-based violence at a virtual peace forum titled creating the Infrastructure for Peace: Virtual Gathering of Leaders from the Caribbean and the Americas on Thursday hosted by Heavenly Culture, World Peace, and Restoration of Light (HWPL), an NGO was founded in Washington DC to combat the atrocities of war and conflict worldwide.
Raisa Charles, a gender-based violence activist from Antigua, agreed with Burgess and said there are parents in the region that interact with their children in ways that are not respectful or peaceful.
“I think that is often overlooked that those relationships that we have as children set the tone for every relationship that we would have in our life,” she said.
Charles said the relationships parents build with their children affect their intimate relations, friendships, connections with colleagues and authority figures.
“That really is the foundation of where we are going to create peace,” she said.
Activists from St Kitts and Nevis, Belize and Jamaica also shared the work they do to reduce gender-based violence in their countries during the breakout session.
In January, the TTPS launched the Gender-Based Violence Unit tasked with handling such cases in this country. At the launch, Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith apologised on behalf of the Police Service for not doing enough to deal with domestic violence in this country.
Since then, more than 20 women have been killed most recently a pregnant Venezuelan national at Flagstaff Hill, St James.