Information Officer I
Ministry of Health and Social Development
Vornicia's House of Commerce, Long Bush
Tortola, British Virgin Islands
E-mail Address: FRandall@gov.vg
The 20th cycle for the Office of Gender Affairs Partnership for Peace (PfP): A Violence Intervention Programme commenced earlier this month.
Director of Gender Affairs Ms. Patricia Hackett said the programme has been one of the flagship initiatives that her office has implemented over the last fourteen years to maintain its zero-tolerance for domestic violence in the Virgin Islands. She said since its inception, over one hundred and fifty men have benefited from the programme.
Ms. Hackett said, “It is a psycho-educational programme to encourage and support men in achieving a violence-free lifestyle and is based on a 16-session curriculum called Partnership for Peace (UNIFEM Manual, 2009). It is also a court based connected programme where all referrals come from the Magistrates’ Court.”
The aim of this cycle is to stop violence in participants’ lives, help them to understand that violence is a choice and to accept responsibility for their behavior, chose new behaviors that are free of violence, and teach participants skills for addressing conflicts when responding to stress.
The programme was in partnership with the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) now United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, (UNWOMEN) where they provided technical and financial support for its development.
The Gender Affairs Coordinator acts as the Programme Director for the violence intervention programme which is also supported by UNWOMEN trained facilitators, Clinical Supervisors and a Programme Coordinator. Each session runs for two hours and the curriculum is delivered by a male and a female facilitator. The classes are also observed by the Clinical Supervisor throughout the cycle.
Ms. Hackett said her office continues to work towards a Virgin Islands where gender equality and equity are at the forefront of the minds of every resident and visitor. “The Ministry of Health and Social Development remains committed to a life free of violence for all and improving on the established conversations and actions surrounding gender equality and equity,” she added.
The Partnership for Peace programme has also been implemented in other Caribbean countries including Grenada, Jamaica, St. Lucia and Trinidad and Tobago.
The Office of Gender Affairs continues to promote and conduct programmes that will assist in building healthy and non-violent intimate partner relationships between men and women in the Virgin Islands.