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the missing poster

Act to Change T&T has released a poster series commemorating all the women and children of T&T who we have lost to violence or who have vanished and never returned home.

Since COVID-19 struck T&T with brutal force, throwing the country into a State of Emergency and lockdown, attention has been diverted from the national crisis of women’s safety, which had brought the country to a breaking point following the tragic murders of Ashanti Riley and Andrea Bharatt.

Having the sixth highest crime rate in the world, T&T is no stranger to horror stories of missing and murdered women and children. In continuing to call for drastic changes and action by the Government and Opposition to make T&T a safer place for women and children, a poster series of 125 missing and murdered women and children was developed by the group.

The poster series is, of course, not exhaustive, as there are hundreds of missing women and children who have been victims of violence. However, by collating some of the victims into a visual format, Act to Change T&T aims to demonstrate that steps must be taken swiftly in the areas of safer transportation, legalising pepper spray, removing bail for sexual offenders, approving the National Strategic Action Plan to End Gender-Based Violence, and implementing educational programmes on proper conflict resolution.

While at the end of 2020 Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith stated that serious incidences of crime fell by 30 per cent and kidnappings were reduced by 41 per cent compared to 2019, this is no cause for celebration, since 2019 was one of the nation’s deadliest years and 397 murders were committed in 2020. Most murders remain unsolved and criminals unpunished. On December 8, 2020, Griffith promised that the TTPS will post billboards with pictures of missing people at supermarkets and other agencies. At the time of this announcement there were 745 missing people reports, and 411 were minors.

However, the TTPS continues to post people who have been reported missing on their Facebook page. During the pandemic there has been a rise in reported domestic violence as cases have jumped from 232 in 2019 to 558 in 2020–a shocking 140 per cent increase.

According to Act to Change T&T, “It is during times like these when we must reflect on our own behaviour, and how it may contribute, enable, ignore, or excuse all violence. While it is very difficult as individuals to move mountains in the fight against crime in our country, we can do our part to treat each other kindly, and when we cannot, find the strength to choose the power of words over the bloodiness of violence.”

Act to Change T&T | There is Unity in Our Trinity

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