HMP residents talk with teens in observance of ‘16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence’
Basseterre, St. Kitts – In commemoration of the celebrated “16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence,” the Department of Gender Affairs reached out to three residents at Her Majesty’s Prison (HMP) to share their experiences at various high schools on the island.
“The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence” programme uses the 16 days between Nov. 25’s “International Day of Elimination of Violence Against Woman” celebrated and Dec. 10’s “International Human Rights Day.”
One resident, Vincent Foye, shared his experience with a group of students at the Washington Archibald High School, along with two other residents on Dec. 7. “I among others am helping to contribute to changing their [youth] minds and behaviour into a more positive part,” he told the students. “I will advocate for this cause, for youths to stay away from deviant behavior.”
Another resident, Antoine Thompson, urged the students to stay in school and choose an honest life. “I am here today to share my experience in the hope that it will discourage any of you who may be heading on a negative path toward engaging in any criminal activity,” he stated.
Senior Gender Field Officer Shinnel Charles described gender-based violence as “any harmful threat or act against an individual or group based on actual or perceived biological sex, gender identity or expression.” She explained that gender-based violence comes in different forms such as date rape, domestic violence, sexual harassment at work, gang violence and violence in relationships.
“[It] is a global problem and a significantly large one in developing countries,” stated Charles, whonoted that the department saw the importance in adapting the international observance of these days. She explained that education is key to the elimination of gender-based violence in the region and hopes that the personal experiences shared by the residents can help teens to stay clear of a life of crime.