Barbadians are being urged to denounce domestic violence by participating in upcoming events to observe November 25 as International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence.

??"Commit. Act. Demand: We Can End Violence Against Women" is the theme for the period and the Bureau of Gender Affairs and several of its partners are currently putting the finishing touches on the activities.

A public outreach activity at Cave Shepherd and Company Limited, Broad Street, has been planned by the Bureau for Wednesday, November 25, from 11:00 a.m. ??BPW (Business and Professional Women’s Club) Barbados will mount "clothes lines" on Friday, November 27, at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital; and the next day at Big B Supermarket, in Christ Church both at 10:00 a.m.

Others will also be set up on Friday, December 4, at the Ministry of Labour’s HIV Expo at the Grantley Adams Industrial Park, Christ Church, between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m., Sheraton Mall from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. and Super Centre Warrens, on Saturday, December 5, from 10:00 a.m.

The Clothes Line Project will allow survivors of domestic violence, their families and friends a chance to speak about the impact of the scourge on their lives. T-shirts of various colours will also be hung to depict the types of violent acts committed.??????????

On Saturday, November 28, SAVE (Service Alliance for Violent Encounters) Foundation will distribute anti-violence brochures and purple ribbons at Sheraton Mall, and on Wednesday, December 2, it will host a public discussion entitled "Protecting, Respecting and Fulfilling the Rights of Victims of Domestic Violence" at the Prince Cave Hall, Station Hill, St. Michael, starting at 6:00 p.m.

The following day, Thursday, December 3, the Barbados Association of Psychologists will stage a panel discussion on "Domestic Violence: Breaking the Cycle" at the Barbados Community College, beginning at 7:00 p.m.

The National Organisation of Women will, on Friday, December 4, again take its message of peace to the island’s primary schools. The releasing of purple balloons, the reciting of poems and the delivery of addresses will form part of the campaign, which is aimed at curbing the flow of violence in society by giving young students the opportunity to express their disapproval of it.

"Out of the Ashes" is a dramatic portrayal of biblical women reflected in the experiences of their counterparts in today’s world as they deal with issues such as abuse, neglect, promiscuity, childlessness and rejection.?? It will be held on Saturday, December 5, from 7:00 p.m. at the Nazarene Church, Oxnards, St. James. This production is an adaptation of the book "Out of the Ashes", authored by Linda Jones, who leads the women’s ministry "Women of Worth".

Also on that day, Voices Writers Collective and BPW Barbados will join together at the St. Leonard’s Church at 4:00 p.m. to raise the level of consciousness about domestic violence using poetry, short stories and dance.

On Monday, December 7, the St. Michael North West Constituency Council will host a panel discussion, "Are Only Women Abused", at Ellerslie Secondary School, Black Rock, starting at 6:30 p.m.

The activities will climax on Wednesday, December 9, with an all-day symposium entitled "Emphasising the Kind in Mankind", in the Harcourt Lewis Training Centre, Keith Bourne Complex, Belmont Road, St. Michael, starting at 9:00 a.m. The findings of the recently concluded domestic violence survey will be revealed and members of the public who are interested in attending should immediately contact the Bureau at 310-2103.

Meanwhile, during the 16-day period, Child Health and Antenatal clients at polyclinics across the island will be exposed to displays on domestic violence.

Women’s activists have marked November 25 as a day against violence since 1981, while it was designated by the United Nations General Assembly in 1999. The date commemorates the brutal assassination of the three Mirabal sisters who were political activists in the Dominican Republic.

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