04 May 2022

Papine High rises up against gender-based violence

“Ever since I’ve left primary school I’ve been trying to work on my anger. I’m still working on it.”, – Adriel Fraser, aged 14, Adriel is a student of Papine High School in St Andrew, which is surrounded by several community experiencing high rates of violent crime. Recently a 15-year-old student on his way to the school was murdered for his cell phone. However, a just concluded intervention at Papine High focusing on addressing the roots of gender-based violence has given…, Participants show changed attitudes, Implemented by the non-government organization RISE Life Management Services and supported by UNICEF under the global European Union-United Nations  Spotlight Initiative  to address gender-based family violence, the one-year programme which ended in January has delivered positive results despite being restricted to online delivery due to COVID-19…, Empowering males and females, “I believe children live what they learn and I believe everything goes back to the homes, the single parent, the no-dad issue, the single mom who cannot make ends meet and the mom becomes frustrated and takes it out on the child and then the child in turn becomes a product of his environment…..but if we start a place where each one help one then…, Opening up new conversations, Referencing the positive impact on teacher and parents, Barnes goes on to explain, “This programme is special because it brings across new information and provides a certain reinforcement. Teachers have more tools and understand the problems with using coercive methodology.” For parents, “Certain old methods they have had to throw out the window,…, Changing parenting approaches, “We have started to have open discussions about things like about sexual abuse and you know, sometimes GBV. I talk to my daughter about adults approaching her and how she should react. These sessions made me want to understand more, and even when they throw out the question and nobody answer, I had to say something.” Importantly, all the…, What is UNICEF doing?, While the RISE against Gender-based Violence School Based Intervention has come to an end under Phase I of Spotlight, schools are encouraged to develop their own interventions to prevent GBV. This and other Spotlight Initiative activities in schools are strongly linked with the UNICEF-Ministry of Education and Youth School-wide Positive Behaviour…
21 July 2021

I help parents prevent family violence

At age 12, I learned a lesson about violence when I became a babysitter in my extended family. Growing up, I had already learned that the way to discipline was to beat, and so with my brothers, sister, and cousins, that was what I did. But then one day one of my brothers fought back and said, “Wait, when we get older, we are going to kill you.”…, The realities of inter-generational violence, With the Spotlight Initiative  I am happy to be on a pathway to recruit families and I am not afraid to go into any community to try and help them become better mothers and fathers, and that includes me as well. We hope for families to recognize that there are other ways to correct their children, to mentor and to nurture children. Really it is…, Demonstrating non-violent approaches, I have a male student now, and I have seen it more than once, where a girl is verbally abusive, and his response is to use physical abuse. The male student will claim that he was not hurting her, and so I must explain to him that physical approach is wrong. Likewise, I also must explain to the female student that her language is verbal abuse. In…, Children must be allowed to speak up, Children are not only receivers in the communication process. They must be listened to and given answers in a manner that they are able to understand properly. I no longer hold the view that they must be seen and not heard. They have a voice too! I must say that the Spotlight Initiative has made me more aware of the impacts of family and gender-…, About the Spotlight Initiative, Under the Spotlight Initiative – global, multi-year partnership between the European Union and the United Nations to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls – Children First through UNICEF, is training 50 community facilitators, like Ricardo, to promote positive parenting. Facilitators focus on preventing family violence and…
25 November 2020

Helping victims of abuse confront their abuse

When I look in the mirror each morning, I see a woman of worth, I see a woman of compassion, I see a woman of empathy, I see a woman of strength, I see a woman who has come a far way. I see a woman who can make a difference in other people’s life and in the younger ones’ lives to come. What really motivates me is hearing the way the mentees talk…, COVID-19 putting victims at greater risk, My mentees have been impacted a lot during COVID-19 because most of them who used to go to work have to be at home. Being closer pulls partners together, but it can also drive them apart if they don’t know how to cope. You have parents getting so frustrated knowing that their kids are at home and they have nothing to give them. And from then their…, Breaking the cycle, counselling abusers, The increased distance between me and my mentees has been a challenge. Sometimes it helps, like with their partners it has been a little easier than face-to-face – but for me I have to be visualising that person’ s expression and trying to understand their tone more. Like this one abusive partner. He cried on the phone, literally cried and in…, Asking abusers to think like their victims, Like with that man I would ask, ‘What if it was a reverse thing where it was you looking in the mirror as the victim. Would you want somebody to do that to you?’ And of course, he answered ‘No’, but then he has never been asked to look at it like that, because that is not how men have been taught to behave. The more that man started to open up he…, About the Mentor Mom Programme, The  Eve for Life  Mentor Mom Programme provides psychological tele-counselling to girls and women aged 16 to 25 who are experiencing intimate partner violence and abuse in the home. They are then assigned to a Mentor Mom, such as Stacy-Ann – trained to provide peer-to-peer psychosocial support in navigating abusive situations.  Through UNICEF,…
05 March 2020

‘Daddy, your bredrin molest me’

Imagine being a little girl who needs to tell your daddy those words?  Last year was a rough one for  Eve for Life . We have noticed over the past few years, that the girls who are the survivors of sexual abuse are getting younger and younger. We were once dealing with 15 to 16-year-olds, young to be sure. Now though, we are handling girls as…, The Secret , At that time, her father was not aware of the situation as she hadn’t yet told anyone. We had been the first persons she told, so when the mentors called, I cautioned that we take a moment to breathe. First, we shared with the principal, who then put us in contact with the girl’s father.   When I got him on the phone, he was quiet, and so the…, The Process , The mentors – who we must remember are survivors themselves and in situations like this may also be triggered – they were the ones who took the father and his daughter to the police station to make the report. But there, they were told that the officer who was responsible for taking statements was away at court.   So, they left empty-handed.  They…, What's UNICEF doing?   , UNICEF  is proud to support  Eve for Life  as part of our work to prevent and reduce violence against children. The 2002 and 2008  Reproductive Health Surveys  both found that 20 per cent of young women below 19 report that their first sexual encounter was forced. Going forward, UNICEF will focus increasingly on advocating for increased measures…
05 March 2020

What Dutty Man taught me as a daddy

Dutty  Man  has made me start to understand the pain of girls who have been sexually abused, not just in Jamaica but throughout the Caribbean. We get a lot of feedback at shows, and on social media, and people go into details; and not just to say I was abused – but exactly what happened to them.  To me it’s like a shock, knowing that people out…, Fans sharing their experiences of abuse , It made me realise that if I only looked at  Dutty  Man  as just a song when I wrote it, now I must take it so much more seriously.  I always wondered what kind of father I would become. I always wanted to be the best father because I didn’t grow up with mine around, and so I’m learning from good fathers around me.    As a father, I need to keep…, Boys growing up thinking abuse is OK , The culture is changing, and our boys are growing up and seeing abuse and feeling like it is acceptable. They can see their uncle or bigger brother molesting younger children and feel like this is fine, this is cool.   I remember in high school you would hear about the conductor and your classmate. Growing up, I used to see girls that I liked, and…, Learning from young collaborator Teshae , Working with Teshae on  Dutty  Man  taught me that if you are patient with children then there is a whole lot that you can teach or bring out of them in terms of their talent. Working with her on this song, I thought it was the best thing that I could do, because people connect more with a song like this coming from someone like Teshae. After all…, What’s UNICEF doing? , Romain was  speaking with Joy Crawford , co-founder of  Eve for Life , to whom he was donating a portion of revenue from sales of  Dutty  Man .  UNICEF proudly supports  Eve for Life as part of our work to prevent and reduce violence against children. Going forward, UNICEF will focus increasingly on advocating for increased measures for the…