By Aaron Humes: ‘Yes, Patrick Faber has to go,’ but this is a critical moment for Belize’s handling of the issue of gender-based violence, according to the office of Special Envoy Rossana Briceño.
“Our women need our support, not criticism, as they navigate the terrible scourge of abuse and violence. It is important that victims know they are not alone. It is critically important we work harder to empower our women and provide the support and safety mechanisms they need to break the cycle of the domestic abuse,” her statement said today, pointing to figures of 2,155 recorded cases of gender-based violence in 2021 of which nearly a third, 696, are open, and 78 percent of which were reported by women. Tragically, 11 women were killed as a result of domestic abuse, the office added.
The office of the Special Envoy said further that beyond statements of condemnation, there must be stronger, multi-sectoral action to reach households, communities, the education sector, business, and leaders. That office will continue to work with these stakeholders in raising public awareness, adding financial resources for programs addressing cultural barriers and issues contributing to abuse, improving the law, creating safe spaces to report abuse, and beating the stigma and fear associated with reporting these incidents.