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Girl Guides host debate on domestic violence

Girl Guides  host debate on  domestic violence

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Many women remain in abusive situations because of their financial dependence on the abuser.

This was the consensus of the girls who participated in the Orange Day Public Speaking Competition, held by the Junior Council of the Girl Guides Association last Monday.

Seven girls presented on the topic: “Domestic violence and sexual violence are among some of the most serious human rights violations in St Vincent and the Grenadines.”

Jerand Phills, one of the judges, felt that the debaters went into depth and their presentations well researched. He said most of the girls showed why sexual and domestic abuse occur and suggested ways to get out of those situations.

Misha Young of the Number 28 Guide company, in her speech, commended the Orange Day campaign.

“…Entering discussions like the Orange Day Campaign by young people like myself to bring awareness on violence can help make a change.”

She said individuals need to be more creative and dedicated and always think about the actions and consequences before getting involved.

“If it’s going to hurt either party, do not do it. Learn to walk away from situations we no longer can accept,” said Young.

Asonique Cupid of the Number 27 Guide Company shared her advice as well.

“It is very evident that these problems exist, but fear and rights are the driving factors why these women are not reporting these horrendous acts of abuse,” she lamented.

“Financial instability is one of the major causes for both domestic and sexual violence. Spouses need to discuss their dissatisfaction on sexual issues and spouses need to find financial stability, either by seeking jobs or by self-

employment,” she added.

Betricia Stowe of the Number 23 Guide Company also emphasized means to get out of the abusive situation.

“Many women stay in abusive relationships because the husband or boyfriend provides them with economic resources that, most of the time, they themselves cannot provide. Sometimes the woman … attempts to report it, but the abuser would threaten them with a death of a loved one or of the victim herself. This is why it is important for you, as a woman, to be independent,” said Stowe.

She also questioned if it could be right for a woman to lose her life “over sex and $20”, a reference to a recent domestic violence incident here.

The three best speakers were awarded honorary Girl Guide trophies.

Asonique Cuffy of the Number 27 Guide Company received the Rochelle Forde Award; Betricia Stowe, from the Number 23 Guide Company, received the Rechanne Browne Award, while Nyah Mckenzie from the Number 1 Guide Company received the Sonya Young Award.

The award for the Best Prepared Speech went to Nyah Mckenzie, while the Best Impromptu Speech award went to Zaida Davis of the Number 3 Guide Company.

Davis spoke on the topic: “What do you think can be done to reduce the cases of abuse and sexual abuse in SVG?” In her presentation, she suggested that perpetrators be given harsher penalties and that peer groups be established for abused women so that they can give each other support.

The Girl Guide Association said it intends to use the event to further advocate against violence in any form, specifically violence against women and girls.

The other competitors were: Alyssa Davis (Number 29 Guide Company), Lanique Cupid (Number 16 Guide Company), and Misha Young (Number 28 Guide Company).(CB)

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