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Nov 25, 2015

16 Days of Activism Launched in Belize

Sheena Gentle

Today, organizations dedicated to the protection of women and children collaborated to launch Sixteen Days of Activism. It’s an annual initiative designed to draw focus on gender-based violence which affects so many homes in Belize, and has claimed so many lives. To drive the point home, the Women’s Issues Network added something extra to the launch, testimonials from those whose lives have been changed forever by domestic violence.

 

Sheena Gentle, Programme Coordinator, WIN Belize

“The importance of today is also because we are doing a candle light vigil and also a memorial for the women who we have lost due to domestic violence. This year alone we have lost at least five women to domestic violence and that is a real tragedy in Belize. One of the things that we are doing is also we’ve invited two of the family members of these women to do a short reflection and to tell us about the impact that the death has made in their lives and what they do plan to do to advocate for change.”

 

Kendra Buller

Kendra Buller, Sister Was Killed in Domestic Violence

“Keisha Therese Buller, a vibrant, smart, beautiful, caring customs officer, whose career was on the rise as she had recently passed her exams with flying colours to gain her two stripes at the age of twenty-six was brutally murdered only four months ago, on July tenth, 2015 at approximately three-thirty p.m.  That was the worst day of my family’s lives. She was killed by someone she entrusted, someone who should have protected and care for her—her boyfriend. She was stabbed a vicious fifty-four times in every part of her body, even her eyes.”

 

Sheena Gentle

“It might sound like there is an increase, however, it is only an increase in the number of reports that we are getting. Domestic violence is something that I know our society has been facing for a really long time, but now there are more avenues for women to report. There is the Domestic Violence Unit, there’s the Women’s Department; there are different women’s group all around the country and because of this we do see an increase of women accessing the services. Because of that it might look like there is an increase in the incidences, but of course, it probably isn’t the real picture because you have a lot of times where the cases aren’t even reported.”

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