Adventist Church Lends Support in Fight Against Violence Against Women and Girls
Written by: Phillip E. L. Castell, Director, Communication, Public Affairs & Religious Liberty | Saturday, December 2, 2017
President of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Jamaica, Pastor Everett Brown, threw his full support behind the move to end violence against women and girls in our society at the service to observe International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on November 25, 2017 at the Hagley Park SDA Church in Kingston.
The service was organized by the Bureau of Gender Affairs, an agency of the Ministry in collaboration with the Jamaica Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists under the theme: Leave No One behind; End Violence against Women & Girls.
In his message Brown conveyed that the members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Jamaica were pleased to identify with government and none government organizations and the wider society in the fight to end violence against women and girls. He also highlighted that the
World Church of Seventh-day Adventists has an annual campaign against violence to women called “End it Now” which runs for sixteen days and will end on December 10, 2017.
“The church, and those of us present here today have responded to this urgent call to end violence against women and girls, not only because we are law abiding citizens but more than that we need to become activists because we belong to one common humanity, men and women, boys and girls, made in the image of almighty God,” said Brown.
“We are no greater or lesser because of our gender, race or what we possess because we are all children of God,” added Brown.
The top leader of the SDA Church in Jamaica noted that even in Christian homes and Christian churches, powerful and influential men and even women, commit violence against girls and children and urged everyone in the society to end violence now.
Mrs. Sharon Coburn, Director, Policy and Research, Bureau of Gender Affairs, who spoke at the service was pleased for the support of the church on the fight against violence against women and girls.
“We are happy that the Seventh-day Adventist Church has the “End it Now” campaign where you join with persons all over Jamaica and in different parishes to say no and to lend your voices to the fight against gender based violence,” Coburn said during her address to the church.
Elder Claudette Genas, Family, Women & Children’s Ministries Director said the Adventist World Church is big on none violence against women and children and declared that the meeting was held to heighten awareness to the physical, sexual and psychological abuse being meted out to women and girls in the society. She disclosed that in East Jamaica Conference, the (GEMS) Girls of Eloquence, Morals and Standards program and the (BEAMS) Brothers of Excellence Attaining Morals and Standards initiative for boys was designed to teach them how to respect themselves and treat women.
Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange shared police statistics which confirmed that between January 2016 and February 2017, 150 women were murdered in Jamaica with 263 being shot and 530 raped. In addition the statistics showed that 511 girls under the age of 16 reported sexual violations while 370 experienced other forms of violation.
In her address to the church, Minister Grange urged Jamaicans to do better and to report acts of violence against women and children to the police.
“Today, let us commit that we will no longer be enablers or accessories to the violence. Let us commit to bawl out against the violence. Let us commit to be our sister’s keepers and report acts of violence against her,” she urged.