In Trinidad and Tobago, the number of reported cases of violence against girls and women is staggering. Three of the top ten countries with the highest incidence of rape are Caribbean countries—the Bahamas, Jamaica and Barbados . Trinidad and Tobago is not far behind. Interpersonal violence (including gender-based violence and rape) ranks fifth out of 44 disease areas, accounting for 5.4 percent of the total years of lives lost due to premature deaths – demonstrating the extent to which gender based violence is a public health issue. Gender inequality and negative gender norms are the root causes of GBV. Eliminating GBV means transforming attitudes and engaging influencers. In Trinidad and Tobago, PSI-C works with local partners, community members and policy makers on a comprehensive response, now known as the Make it Stop campaign as outlined below:
- At the individual level, to increase access to quality, comprehensive services and support for women and girls experiencing violence.
- At the family level, working with men, boys and mother’s in-law to address harmful traditional practices and to change negative gender norms.
- At the community level, engaging community members on prevention and support services for survivors – making women and girls an active part of the solution.
- At the institutional level,developing guidelines for comprehensive screening, treatment and care for women and girls, including the establishment of support programs for social assistance, housing, education and work placement.
- At the societal level, raising public awareness and advocacy efforts for legal reform and law enforcement that will help shift societal paradigms.
A Joint Report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and the Latin America and the Caribbean Region of the World Bank. “Crime, Violence, and Development: Trend, Costs and Policy Options in the Caribbean”. 2007.