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Jul 10, 2019

Strengthening the Family Unit is at the Core of Addressing Crime

Judith Alpuche

In recent years the level of crime and violence against women and children has escalated. The recent killing of twenty-four-year-old Yanira Novelo and the attack on her four-year-old boy brought this into sharp focus, showing the need for a lot intervention at all levels. While crime has peaked and many others have lost their lives, the profiles of the mother and her child have elicited a public outcry that something is drastically wrong. C.E.O. Judith Alpuche says that this attack shows a new level of vulnerability and the need for a lot of work to be done within the family unit in Belize.

 

Judith Alpuche, C.E.O., Ministry of Human Development

“It is a whole different level and it is very scary because, I guess, we were all vulnerable but with cases like this you feel your vulnerability. So, we really do believe that we need to intensify efforts in terms of supporting parents, supporting families to be as resilient as possible. As I said, with social safety net programming, with making sure children are educated and their basic needs are met. Counseling is an issue for Belize. Mental Health services is a huge issue and there has been a discussion in the public domain over the past weeks and we are hoping that it will spark things to move forward because we have so many people walking around wounded, dealing with trauma in most unhelpful. So, we really need to intensify our efforts. It is really about things we are doing like investing in early child hood development that is so critical in so far as how you build resiliency for children from the very start; how do you make sure that their brain literally wires the proper way so that they can function in environments that are sometimes hostile and not very nurturing. The crime fighting strategy is very important but it is really about building foundation and base. Working from birth or before birth and that is where we are focusing to see how we can shore up the child through-out the life-cycle and really help families to do right by their children.”


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