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I was 17 when a man first threatened to rape me in Tacarigua: Letters on domestic violence in T&T

“I was 17 when I was first verbally accosted on the street. I was standing on the PBR at the Tacarigua intersection, when a man—probably in his 20s—who I had seen at the corner before, approached me.

“He began: ‘Next time yuh come ’round here looking so sweet…’ Or maybe he said ‘juicy’. I’m not sure. But he definitely continued: ‘I go rape yuh’…”

Photo: A woman is treated to catcalls in New York.
(Copyright NY Daily News)

In 2017, a nationwide survey into women’s experiences with intimate partner violence and non-partner sexual violence was conducted in Trinidad and Tobago. The results of the survey suggested:

  • 30% of women in this country experience physical and/or sexual violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime.
  • Over 7% of women in this country who were pregnant experienced physical violence during at least one pregnancy.
  • One in three women who experience intimate partner violence do not tell anyone.

Over the next 16 days, from November 25th to December 10th, there will be worldwide activism to raise awareness about the problem of violence against women and girls.

In keeping with this year’s theme #HearMeToo, several women have written to the Coalition against Domestic Violence to share their experiences and views on violence against women in this country. These letters will be shared on Wired868.

The following letter is the first in that series and was submitted by Chabeth Haynes, who is a volunteer for the Coalition Against Domestic Violence:

Photo: Stand against violence to women.

I was in primary school when I learnt first-hand about physical violence against girls and women. My refusal to play with a male classmate was met with a punch to the stomach.

I was 14 or 15 the first time I learnt someone I knew had been raped. It happened when she took a taxi from the Dinsley/Trincity junction. She was around my age.

I was 17 when I was first verbally accosted on the street. I was standing on the PBR at the Tacarigua intersection, when a man—probably in his 20s—who I had seen at the corner before, approached me.

He began: “Next time yuh come ’round here looking so sweet.” Or maybe he said “juicy.” I’m not sure. But he definitely continued: “I go rape yuh.”

Before I turned 18—while I was still a child, and before I ever had a proper non-familial or non-platonic relationship with a man—I had directly or peripherally been affected by physical, sexual, and verbal violence at the hands of a male.

I had experienced male violence before I had experienced male love. I had learnt to fear men before I had learnt to feel safe with them. As infuriating as that is, what’s more enraging is that I am by no means an anomaly. Too many girls know physical, sexual, and verbal violence before they even enter adulthood.

The impact of this type of environment is not fleeting. It is lifelong.

Photo: Two girls sport African attire during Emancipation Day celebrations.
(Copyright The Chess Drum)

Violence against women and girls in all its horrible forms is a pervasive and persistent problem despite the best efforts of women and girls to quell it. But try as we might to end it, we cannot succeed without the collaboration of men. Because while violence against women and girls is a female issue, it is not a female problem. It is a male problem.

It is a male problem that manifests itself through us—through our abuse and suffering and the denial of our human dignity, safety, and peace of mind. A male problem stemming from the devaluation of women and a belief in male domination.

A male problem that will continue until men join the charge to redefine masculinity, eradicate the culture of fear in which women live, and dismantle a patriarchal system that dictates men should reign over women.

Addressing the problem can only begin when men honestly self-evaluate.

Are you an active oppressor? Shamelessly beating women into submission with your words, fists and/or penis?

Are you an accomplice? Snickering at jokes and insults that demean, belittle, and disrespect women, creating a hostile environment for us?

Photo: Boys will be boys?

Do you compartmentalise and give a man who you know is God-awful to women a bligh because elsewhere in life he fulfils a purpose for you?

Are you an enabler? Staying silent and uninterested in the face of a brutal and burning societal problem that affects half the population? Do you uphold the patriarchy and keep the boys’ club intact? Does a man even belong in a boys’ club?

There is strength in supporting those who do not enjoy the same social privileges that you do. There is no strength in using violence—verbal, physical, or sexual—to force submission. That is cowardice, indicative of a weak personality incapable of handling a challenge.

A cowardly culture of oppression can only rise and thrive when those with the strength and power to stymie it, choose not to. So where do you stand, man?

Or are you choosing to sit on the sidelines while we fight this battle to end violence against women and girls? That’s unfortunate. Because women really need to #HearMenToo.

Editor’s note: The Trinidad and Tobago Women’s Health Study 2017 can be found HERE.

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185 comments

  1. Female-Male violence begats Male -Female violence.

    • Translation: Women are to blame for men harassing, assaulting, beating, raping and killing them.

      We hear you loud and clear! Now, here is why your contribution is unhelpful to the problem.

      1. Some male perpetrators of GBV were never victims of female violence.

      2. Some male perpetrators of GBV were victims of MALE violence but still take it out on female victims.

      3. You provided one half of a cyclic dysfunction.

      If female-male violence begets male-female violence then visa versa is also true right? Fair is fair.

      Yet, statistically speaking more women are victims of violence at the hands of men. How come far more men aren’t being retaliated against in violent ways by women. They should be right…but they aren’t.

      So what are the women and girls who experience rampant incest, sexual harassment, sexual assault, rape, beatings by fathers, brothers, cousins, uncles and non-related men doing differently so as to not be going around harassing, assaulting and killing men in reprisal?

      Why aren’t the men doing the same?

    • Toco Nicky did I say that? I said it was a 2 way street.

    • Have u ever heard D saying “man is d head and woman is d neck “

    • Ah Christian friend of mine told me he wife of 25 years told him his only contribution was financial.he said it hurt like a hard slap.

    • Collin first make sure you answering d correct person and secondly I have NEVER heard women are the neck yikes! Maybe that is part of the problem right there!

    • Toco Nicky guess u never read Ephesians either?

    • Collin looking for it now. But I dont believe in the bible, so what is it going to profit me?!

    • “Ah Christian friend of mine told me he wife of 25 years told him his only contribution was financial.he said it hurt like a hard slap.”

      Yes, that would be a hurtful thing to hear. But that is LIFE! People will hurt our FEELINGS and EGO, sometimes deliberately or non-deliberately.

      He is supposed to be Christian. So doesn’t he have the skills to allow empathy to overcome his own ego? Because that is how emotionally and intellectually mature people handle their bruised feelings and ego.

      If my spouse told me something like that, as hurtful as it might be, I would try to understand the unhappiness and dissatisfaction that led them to say something like that.

    • Toco Nicky u just justified what his wife said and vilified d husband.

    • Colin how many men do this? However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

    • As for Ephesians (which I HAVE read and the ENTIRE Bible), nobody should be taking marital advice from Paul. He was never married, had serious issues with women and thought marriage was a lesser choice than being celibate. He said explicitly in 1 Corinthians 7 that the first choice of Christians should be to remain unmarried and marriage brings woes and problems.

    • And that is d problem women accustomed to getting ah free pass.until d bottom drop out.

    • Collin i dont know the dynamics of that household nor was I around when they made a decision to start a relationship and how they were going to go about doing such

    • Jessica Joseph did u just attack d apostle Paul?

    • Collin no she just told you who he was there IS a difference

    • Collin Cudjoe Attack? Nope. Critique, yes. As any Biblical scholar is entitled to do 😉

    • Churches doctrine r based on his teachings

    • All writers, literature and man-made institutions can be critiqued, can they not?

    • Nope. I am a truth-seeker. I don’t just blindly believe things because I was told to do so by human authority 😉

      But just on a common sense level. Wouldn’t you take marital advice from a happily married man with a very happy wife over a man who found the whole thing to be beneath him?

    • Jessica Joseph 2 Tim 3 16-17 all scripture inspired by God.

    • Collin Cudjoe Yes, it was a man (perhaps Paul, as the actual authors of Timothy are not known) making that unfounded claim for the Hebrew scriptures that existed at the time.

      It was not a reference to the letter he was currently writing. If it was Paul writing that reference. It would be the SAME Paul who contradicted that statement by calling the Old Law (also scripture) weak and beggerdly in Galations.

    • Jessica Joseph me eh “pitch marble with Paul”.

    • Did you think that letter to Timothy was Paul referring to his own letters to the congregations as “Scripture”? LOL. C’mon now! He was talking about the Torah and Talmud and many other writings.

    • The Bible as we know it DID NOT EXIST YET when Paul (or whoever wrote that letter) wrote those words. The Nicean Councils where the books that would comprise the first Bible were selected, edited and canonized had not happened yet.

    • Jessica ah young woman engineer said her husband could not tell her anything because she worked for money dan him. Think she morning him with ah mechanic on work

    • Collin Cudjoe She is an asshole. Still does not justify him if he beat or killed her. Hopefully he has enough self-respect to leave her and find someone who values him.

    • Jessica Joseph u kno real thing boi Paul does pitch left hand or right hand?

    • Jessica Joseph he eh kno she say dat?

    • Collin Cudjoe Why you asking me if I know which hand Paul used to pitch marbles? What does that have to do with knowing Paul’s writings? Is not like I’m using some kind of psychic power to deduce how Paul felt about marriage. He made his views on marriage very clear.

      1 Corinthians 7
      1 Now for the matters you wrote about: It is good for a man NOT TO MARRY.
      6 I say this as a concession, not as a command.
      7 I wish that all men were as I am. But each man has his own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that.
      8 Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I am.
      9 But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.
      28…..But those who marry will face many troubles in this life, and I want to spare you this.
      29 What I mean, brothers, is that the time is short. From now on those who have wives should live as if they had none;
      32 I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs–how he can please the Lord.
      33
      But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world–how he can please his wife–
      34 and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world–how she can please her husband.

      After reading this, is not clear that Paul sees marriage as a concession for the Christians whose lust is too strong and will not be able to control themselves? He clearly says the preferable choice is to be single. But for those weaker in self-control and not given the gift he has of superior celibacy and devotion to the Lord, there was marriage as a way out, instead of whoring around.

      Keep in mind, in Paul’s time, there was no shaking up together or premarital sex. If you had sex with a virgin automatically it meant you MARRIED HER under Jewish Law. So the way for relieving sexual urges outside of marriage would be to go to a prostitute. This was the church in Corinth he was writing to. Prostution was everywhere.

    • So for those Christians who like to take the Bible literally, word for word, basically, if you ain’t a horny person by nature, you have no business getting married. Paul said you should remain single and focus on serving the Lord. Marriage is for the horn-dogs who would otherwise be screwing around if they don’t have a single sex partner to relieve themselves with.

      Come to think of it, there are a LOT of mismatched libidos in marriages where one got married for the sexual relief and reliable nookie at home and the other is not very keen on sex and really just wanted companionship and security OR they had romantic notions of the white dress and wedding and all their friends were doing it, so they want to do it too or they like the social and material prestige of marriage but they don’t like sex.

      PROBLEMS!

      At the very least Paul was progressive on recognizing if you are asexual or not BEFORE you got married. He clearly was asexual or perhaps was a repressed homosexual who had no desire for women.

    • Jessica Joseph u eh easy nah u have it all figured out

    • Collin Cudjoe I hardly have it all figured out. Life continues to surprise me! I just know what I know.

    • Toco Nicky no like I say is ah 2 way street

    • Toco Nicky kids learn from adults self control for adolescents without proper guidance and training and wrong influences could be the cause .who knows.

    • Jessica, note the same Paul who said celibacy was best, noted that these were his own thoughts and that they were not given to him by God. Additionally it conflicts with Genesis 2 vs 14 which has God saying it is not GOOD for man to be alone and Leviticus 21 vs 20 which shuts out eunuchs from Priesthood. That last one invalidates any attempt to suggest Jesus was speaking of religious life when he spoke of Eunuchs for the sake of the Kingdom in Matthew 19;12. Again in Titus they speak of choosing a Bishop from men who have shown themselves to be good husbands and fathers.
      Colin the scripture with Matthew vs 19 also points to us secoming the servants of our spouses (that what eunuchs role in a home was). Eunuchs worked tirelessly on behalf of the spouse they served (See the Book of Esther) and the best example of a Eunuch for the sake of the Kingdom is Joseph in Potiphar”s house refusing the sexual advances of the wife because it would offend God.

    • Chris Mark D The topic was domestic violence.

    • Collin Cudjoe Domestic violence is between spouses. A person who chooses to be servant cannot do violence to whom is is sworn to serve. He or she should wash their spouse in forgiveness, devotion, praise and attentive service. Meeting all their needs (not wants or desires, there is a distinct difference as love seeks the best for the other, not to turn them into a spoiled brat). Therefore my comment to you was in keeping with how to avoid domestic violence. The advice being to teach service to spouse as a requisite for relationship goals.

    • Chris Mark D what d D is for deacon?

    • Chris, whether or not Paul or Titus or any human is speaking his own opinions or what he thinks are the opinions of God cannot be proven or confirmed to be true. So the truth-seeking scholar will treat it all as their own assertions at the end of the day.

      There are two kinds of eunuchs in the Bible. There are eunuchs who have disfigurement of their genitals and they are indeed barred from the priesthood as the Hebrews saw all disabilities and injuries as making a person lesser than and unworthy to be in their diety’s presence.

      The Hebrew scriptures also mentions a kind of eunuch called a “saris”which is a “born eunuch” that does not have any disfigurment of the genitals. They simply have a lack of interest in women or marriage. The Talmud describes them as effeminate. They were allowed to worship and serve in the temple. Those are the eunuchs being referred to in Matthew 19.

      It is also important to note, the various tribal societies in Northern Palestine that were seeking to become one Hebrew nation, particularly the more militaristic Levites, placed a great emphasis on marriage and childbearing because they were a military, tribal warlord people trying to subdue the Canaanites. You can only do that if you breed, breed, breed, breed to feed a large army, replace those dying in war as well as farm the land. So their religious leaders who are writing their laws and creating their “Birth of A Nation” story will of course place a high priority on this and write it as a direct command from their God.

    • Today, we know many men should not be marrying women, as they are not cut out for it, nor for fatherhood because they have serious emotional issues to fix before they could love anyone else. Same with women. Lots of them should not be getting married and their romantic notions of it are unrealistic.

      We know by scientific evidence, that the marriages that last the longest, and are happy and healthy tend to be those where the people entered it with far more self-knowledge, experience and security. They pick partners who are truly compatible with them intellecutally, culturally and sexually. You can only do that if you “know thyself” first. https://ifstudies.org/blog/want-to-avoid-divorce-wait-to-get-married-but-not-too-long/

      We know the rates of divorce are falling as people wait longer, do more self-work and pick wisely. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/09/26/divorce-rates-fall-lowest-levels-since-1973-people-getting-married/

      We know the most conservative Christian communities where young people marry very young because it is the only way they can legitmately have sex for the first time, also have the highest rates of divorce. https://www.thoughtco.com/divorce-rates-for-atheists-248494

    • There are in fact quite a few articles on the high rate of divorce in Conservative Christian communities. Something I saw first hand as well, growing up in one. Including my parents who divorced when I was 2 as well as the parents of several of my cousins and peers in the same religious community.

      https://vancouversun.com/news/staff-blogs/evangelicals-more-likely-to-divorce-study

      https://www.baylor.edu/mediacommunications/news.php?action=story&story=137892

      And after doing an intensive podcast with medically qualified Sexologist Onika Henry from Tobago, she also confirmed that building healthy sexual relationships requires knowledge and skills that often the religious leaders HINDER with their rhetoric and over-simplification and scriptural legalism. She sees many good, Christian Tobagonian women who are totally frustrated and unhappy because of the medically untrue and mental health hindering information they were taught in churches.She also has a very difficult time bringing men to the table to get help for their issues. At her forums and sessions it will be 99% women.

      Once again, women are always the ones more proactive in trying to get help and heal. Our society’s culture does not raise men who feel safe being vulnerable, seeking help and/or admitting they have a problem.

    • Jessica, Paul’s own words. 1 Corinthians 7 vs 25: “About remaining celibate, I have NO DIRECTIONS from the LORD but give MY OWN opinion as one who, by the Lord’s mercy, has stayed faithful.”
      So the position proposing celibacy is based on a MAN’S opinion and NOT the LORD’S.
      Evangelicals have a lower view of marriage. It began with the arrogance and rebellion of Henry VIII. The view that a marriage is supposed to be perfect bliss that never brings stress is a rejection of human failings. A sure recipe for failure if one sees divorce as an option. Jesus said what God has put together let no man tear asunder.
      The churches that rebelled are therefore NOT conservatives. They rebel against God’s word and therefore are not walking with him in this.

  2. RESEARCH! That is where this should start. Otherwise, we are just conjecturing. What is the RESEARCH showing with regard to GBV where the male is the perpetrator and the woman is the victim? Note, there are other kinds where the male is the victim or it is same-sex GBV but TODAY we are specifically dealing with male-female GBV as that is the context of the article and the thread. So no distraction.

    Now, we cannot just go with people’s personal anecdotes, opinions and conjectures. That is not how we diagnose and treat dysfunctions of ANY kind, whether medical or societal. To illustrate how inaccurate and dangerous it is to go on people’s opinions.

    Some have the personal opinion we must return traditional days where women were subservient to men. BUT THE EVIDENCE SHOWS that women were also being victimized by GBV 20, 30, 40, 50 years ago! They just kept it hush-hush, they blamed themselves and they had no power to do anything about it.

    Some have the personal opinion the problem is women raising children by themselves due to divorce, death, desertion by the man. BUT THE EVIDENCE SHOWS A SIGNIFICANT NUMBER OF MEN WHO COMMIT GBV COME FROM TWO-PARENT HOMES AS WELL ( By the way, everyone should listen to Terry Crews’ Goalcast Talk on growing up with an abusive father who beat his mother and how he started emulating that even though he did not want to) EVIDENCE SHOWS NOT ALL MEN RAISED BY SINGLE PARENTS ARE GBV PERPETRATORS.

    Some have a personal opinion that it is a lack of religion. BUT GBV IS RAMPANT IN RELIGIOUS HOMES TOO. In fact, it is often worse in those households as the Abrahamic faiths endorse female submission to men, as well as a victim mentality in women who are told it is their cross to bear. Many women’s shelters have to deal with that nonsense all the time of imams, pastors and priests telling women to return to their abusers and just try being more obedient.

    Some have the personal opinion it is sexual liberation to blame. BUT GBV HAPPENS IN PRUDISH HOUSEHOLDS AS WELL. You think GBV does not happen in extra prudish places like Saudi Arabia or in Amish and Mormon communities? Guess again! Also, some of the most sexually liberated places have the lowest rates of GBV how is that possible?

    Here is what we DO know for sure. Female victims and male perpetrators of GBV come from all races, all religions/belief systems/cultures, all lifestyles, all domestic situations, all economic classes.

    So, what is the ONE SMOKING GUN connecting ALL? There lies your solution!

  3. Oh and that porn includes our Caribbean carnival/feting culture which is littered with vulgar degrading lyrics, vulgar dance that simulates sex acts and vulgar underdressing by participants.

    • Our whole ‘cosma’ of what we call “culture” here needs demolishing:

      So called education, SEA, ideas of masculinity, sale presentation of women, … plenty inbetween …
      And yes, carnival. Or maybe not.
      Citizens will decide.
      But maybe this nationwide economic retrenchment would wake them up, but I see no signs of that.

      Everything in this society is being exposed…

      As fraud. Starting with govt housing for the poor

      Are we ever gonna be willing to te the truth

    • Just a note. What I advocate is not prudery but common sense training. Garbage in=Garbage out.

    • I realize that nobody wants evidence-based approaches to this problem. That in itself is a problem. Everyone is just giving non-factual, personal anecdotes, opinions and conjectures as it suits their agenda.

      The sexually restrictive will blame sexual liberation. BUT GBV HAPPENS IN SEXUALLY REPRESSIVE HOUSEHOLDS AS WELL. GBV is rampant in places like Saudi Arabia or in Amish and Mormon communities. No porn or Carnival there. Yet there is GBV. So how come?

      I’m actually on an ex-JW community support group and so many former JW women recount horror stories of domestic violence in their homes. You cannot get more prudish than the JW and yet are several multi-million dollar lawsuits in several countries against JW men who sexually assaulted women and children in the congregation.

      In vast contradiction, THERE ARE VERY SEXUALLY LIBERATED SOCIETIES (No stigma around nudity, porn, legal prostitution) e.g. NORWAY, ICELAND, DENMARK, NETHERLANDS, AUSTRIA WITH LOWER RATES OF GBV than very conservative countries.

      How is that possible?

      When you are diagnosing a problem, the ONLY approach to the issue is OBJECTIVE RESEARCH first into the ACTUAL causes. If there is a claim that something is directly responsible for causing something but then that is not what consistently happens, then it is not A CAUSE. There might be a circumstantial correlation but not causation.

      So it cannot become the focus of intervention.

    • Garbage in=Garbage out includes prudery as garbage dear Jessica. Introducing preteen males to pornography is piss poor parenting. I would add that even during the teens it can distract a male severely. Similarly suggesting taboos on all sexual information is equally ignorant.
      Sexual emasculation can happen through mockery, bullying as well as through inappropriate exposure.
      Mother’s have a role to play as well as fathers. The abundance of fatherless homes remains a rich source of Ill adjusted /socialized males.
      Saudi Arabia and other puritanical societies create a shame that emasculates. The shame stems from misunderstood feelings/arousals/sex drive. The level of pornography and sexual exploitation in those societies is high because of the same puritanical ignorance. Modesty is not puritanical or prudery. Modesty requires loving oneself sufficient to protect the inner sexual sanctum from becoming mere entertainment.

    • Chris Mark D I get you are passionate about being anti-porn, anti-nudity/sensuality and anti-single parent homes. However, to accurately diagnose and treat the problem, we need to use research, not people’s personal opinion.

      So my point still stands. We need to use the sources of accurate information that have been investigating this issue, as objectively as possible.

    • Jessica Joseph well then please note that several sources are seriously flawed by personal opinion (e.g Kinsey Report).

    • Chris Mark D Kinsey Report? That OLD RELIC from the 1950s! Geez! Psychology and the study of human sexuality has advanced way beyond that now with far more advanced methods such as MRI brain scans and advances in genetics and neuroscience to name a few.

      If anyone still referring to that as “modern research” they are some real dinosaurs. 😀

    • That rag of a report put “sexual education” more properly referred to a mis-education in schools across america.

    • Chris Mark D The report was flawed to be sure. But it was far better than the information that existed before, which was even more flawed. All kinds of superstitious nonsense! So at the very least, Kinsey attempted to make the study of human sexuality as scientific as possible which kick-started more and more study and better emperical methodologies.

      We are constantly learning more and more. We know now that Comprehensive Sex Education WORKS. The countries that have it, have fewer teen pregnancies and STDs. The countries that do not have it, have higher teen pregnancies and high rates of STDs. Cannot argue with the clear statistics there.

    • Ever hear of stats being fraudulent?

  4. Violent men were once boys in homes with mothers and sisters. The violence we see has it’s roots in male emasculation and sexual insecurities.
    So whether emasculated by parents, siblings or peers, the outcome is generating the violence. Solving it requires a multifaceted approach by parents, teachers and the society at large. We also need to reject exposing young prepubescent males to pornography by audio video medium. So whether on TV, smartphone or movie theater, we must set limits.

    • Chris Mark D well said Chris.monsters r made not born.

    • I am waiting, needing inputs, funding, then the belly to write on a theme populations are not yet ready to face.

      “Toxic Maternals” and
      The Abuse (sexual physical ) of Boys

      I plan to start with the former, “Toxic Maternals” with my own experience and story, living observing it As an adult forty and over! Witnessing it in other lives from thirty eight. Clueless before that age

      Make a call for other stories Because I believe this is grounded in the Caribbean Colonial Plantation Slavery and Post Trauma Complex.

      You gentlemen wish to be my first supporters, investors, funders?

      Stories of the Diaspora.
      Collected. Edited. Compiled.

      Made into a web page archive, a book, or books for each region: American and Caribbean, or each Caribbean country if there are that many narratives lodged; and a bibliography, the first book of which would be Kiese Laymon’s HEAVY.

      I actually want him to come to Trinidad to do a talk series and campaign For Males, Men and Boys To encourage males to open up, divest, and empty bare their souls of this ugly they silently suffer and carry.

      And then we begin to heal, if not breathe.

      I just want to do the project Right, Righteous, and very polished… the clearing operation office being a resource center… building a safe place while we discuss lives.

      Nothing careless or fly by night

  5. Need I remind u ladies this is a woman’s world I have 2 chops on my head from a Horner man to prove it.lol

    • ”However, the same report suggests that more than eight out of 10 victims of homicides committed by intimate partners are female.”

      This is the type of violence we are addressing over the #16days.

      If men don’t want to get their prostate checked, that’s their business.
      Women would like to stop being killed by their partners, so we’re undertaking efforts to tackle the issue.
      Thanks for the post, Sav!

    • Chabeth Haynes its been recognised as a worldwide problem, so I really don’t see why people have an issue. When I get back in I will tag you in another article. I won’t oost it here, but you can.

  6. Ok. I am seeing open passionate discussion of personal beliefs. I trust Wired to moderate.

  7. I see the bullying right here..

  8. ps. Thanks Lasana for giving us a safe place for discussion and growth. Most appreciated.

  9. When we start talking about these issues it can be very difficult. At first we might feel defensive. We are certain we know how the world works. We have known it as far back as we can remember. It can be very confronting to question ‘what we know for sure’. We can even feel silly and think ‘if that isn’t true then do I know anything? It isn’t easy when our values are challenged. It is through this type of debate we can examine our values. Where did I learn what I know? Was it information handed down to me? Did I learn it from my own experience? Why do others feel differently? Could there be other ways to see this issue? Let’s talk about these things. If you find later that you don’t agree with an alternate view you will know exactly why. If you think differently after discussion you will know you changed your view in light of new information.

  10. “Violence against women and girls in all its horrible forms is a pervasive and persistent problem despite the best efforts of women and girls to quell it. But try as we might to end it, we cannot succeed without the collaboration of men. Because while violence against women and girls is a female issue, it is not a female problem. It is a male problem.

    It is a male problem that manifests itself through us—through our abuse and suffering and the denial of our human dignity, safety, and peace of mind. A male problem stemming from the devaluation of women and a belief in male domination.

    A male problem that will continue until men join the charge to redefine masculinity, eradicate the culture of fear in which women live, and dismantle a patriarchal system that dictates men should reign over women.

    Addressing the problem can only begin when men honestly self-evaluate.”

    That was the main point of what I wrote. But if at the start of a global campaign to raise awareness about violence against women and girls, men wannabe like “what about us?” then okay.

    If the year to date stats from the TTPS indicate that 80% of DV complaints come from women and 20% come from men and people want to think that this is a problem that affects men and women equally, then okay. (And that’s just DV stats, not violence in all its forms stats. And more important that the gender breakdown of the victims, is the gender breakdown of the perpetrators of violence… but that’s another issue)

    If someone would like to explain to me what I as a 4/5 year old girl who did not want to play with a boy should have done differently in order not to be punched, then I’m willing to listen.

    If someone would like to explain to me what the teenage girl who got raped in the taxi should have differently, then I’m willing to listen.

    If someone wants to explain what I should have done differently at 17 to avoid being threatened with rape, I am willing to listen.

    I pulled three examples (and there are more) from childhood to illustrate how early in life females are exposed to male violence in various forms, but if men still want to sing the song of “make better choices” when it comes to women being subjected to male violence, then okay.

  11. No ah mean no man ever enters a relationship thinking “dat is ah good woman to beat up”.domestic violence is ah 2 way street. Pardners examine yuh self and stop d “man blaming”.

  12. I’m wondering why it’s being seen as a zero sum approach. We men should support this call but also launch a call for the abolition of violence that affects men. The approaches are not mutually exclusive

    • Our Lives
      Our MisEducation
      ALL Systems of Living
      Our Societies
      Everything
      Everything Capitalism
      Our Religions
      We are socialized and constructed in Zero Sum Dynamics and Balance

      ZeroSum is precisely why and how we kill, brutalize and destroy each other.

      Insightful
      Thanks for bringing that to the fore
      Thats a framework and context to dismantle and deconstruct this whole tragedy.

      Wow!

    • When are we going to HONESTLY understand and voice how destructive corporal punishment was/is?

  13. Dennise Demming, thank goodness for men like Amilcar Sanatan yes!

  14. The bottom line here is hurt broken people hurt and break people.
    And if I never had no love, why should I have any for you.
    I mean it gets so bad that envy, they turn beasts and bully hust because you had love.

    That is all nest of the thing

  15. It’s also not like women aren’t also actively involved iniatives against gang violence, gun violence and school bullying as well. SO MANY mother-led iniatives for these things.

    MUST WE DO EVERYTHING?! Then not even get to ask for some attention paid to GBV that affects our sisters?

  16. I would love to hear a similar story by a man about the first time he made some “otta timin” comment to a a girl or woman and why he would not do that again. Without the full engagement of men, this will not go away.

  17. You want to know the irony of the whole thing? Not only do women activists address GBV against women, they are also doing double duty and addressing GBV against men too. Men have to go to women founded and women led intiatives to get support and help for being sexually victimized or abused by imtiate partner violence. It was WOMEN who helped create the first ever, Male-Only Shelter for male victims of abuse. It was WOMEN who helped get the FBI to extend the definition of rape to include the kinds assaults on male vicitms and it was WOMEN leading the cause against prison rape, which also predominantly affects male victims.

  18. Another dynamic of this conversation is the need to teach basic thinking, not even critical thinking, which the latter is the former

    But when you have to outline the endless reasons why violence against women and children is separated and focused upon though there be more male bodies

    And have to start at: (well, a woman is no match for a man’s body weight, mass, and swing, And maybe males are in their testosterone dance, women did not ask to enter that gayelle,) you begin to wonder … is the processing level that depleted and absent

    There is no fight which is why such violence becomes focused, also with children. Babies.

    Why do we need to teach this?

    But thats where its at
    Beasts of no burden

  19. Police and law enforcement have entrenched racism that are specifically victimizing black people. We must focus on this issue because Black Lives Matter.

    Detractors: NAH! ALL LIVES MATTER!

    Women are being assaulted and killed by Gender Based Violence (violence specifically related to sexual/romantic/intimate context) at unprecedented rates. We need to address this issue.

    Detractors: NAH! Let us tackle ALL VIOLENCE!

    • The latter is about power, entitlement, perceived rights, ownership, control, lack of personhood

      Shit that happens with toxic maternals against their children and relatives.

      Intriguing.

      Seem like Anti Violence needs to become a rigorous academic inquiry so as to determine best practices against barbarianism. In 2018 .

      But what ever happened to dont pic on folk lesser than you.

      Bullyism

  20. Lasana Liburd my response was to the earlier post. My position is that more men 68% are subject to violence than women. But more fundamentally that all violence should be our focus. The constant and noisey protest of one kind of violence in every nook and cranny gives the impression that that type of violence is the most pervasive. Like prostate cancer that kills twice as many men as women..the noise of breast cancer drowns out other facts..
    So i guess not

    • Even the Prostate Cancer outreach Public Education stuff I’ve been involved in, it was WOMEN leading it too. In fact, involved in a Ministry of Health (Saint Lucia) outreach called “Stop Dying To Be Macho” to encourage men to be more proactive about their health.

      So we do care about the men and their issues. If only they cared about ours the same way.

    • Jessica Joseph or even if they cared about themselves and their issues. Nothing prevents them from addressing violence against men or prostate cancer and they might actually make sone progress if they did.

    • Wendell Raeburn maybe that’s because women stop hiding behind pride a long time ago when it comes to breast cancer. Today with all the knowledge we have you still can’t get some men to get over the false pride and get a prostate exam! And maybe that’s why they are dying at such a rate!!! Breasts cancer is not drowning out prostate cancer the voices of women brave enough to stand up and fight breast cancer is what you hear. You should take your pitch to your male peers and try make your own noise! Come on bring it… when was your last exam ??

    • Fun fact: Prostate Cancer kills twice as many men because they’re too homophobic to get the exam which involves two probing fingers into one’s anus. #themoreyouknow

    • “The noise of breast cancer?” Interesting how you refer to it. It really does savor of a deep kind of insecurity when you are so discomfited by another’s cause. It is not a competition. There’s nothing stopping you or other people who feel driven by other worthy causes to push those. You can’t disparage one cause to draw attention to another. You simply bring more support to the neglected one. Your position doesn’t make sense to me.

  21. creatures who play this one up, competing narratives, hurts and issues, scares the bejesus out of me. Them so is who will reach to physical violence out of that deeply held frustration they harbor.

    Before I was led astray, I was coming to share:
    if anyone can do a national campaign, without judgment or banner, and just talk to men and males in trinidad, you will see how common it is for males to use the word rape, in simple engagement with and to women. Among themselves, I put in a different category

    It happened to me once is what alerted me.

    I was asked for something.
    I said no. The person replied, cool as ever : “alright i wouldnt rape you”

    As if he asked me, do I want potatoes, I say no, and he just say, alright, I wouldnt put any in your plate.

    I never forgot that
    And I go back to it ever so often as for me it proves we all not human or we allnot the same creatyres though we appear

    I think it might help to understand the pervasive mindset if we understood hidden dynamics such as that.

    Ultimately, we are so damaged, we dont even know the endless ways we do violence to each other

    Competing for narrative is a violence
    Dismissal is a violence.
    On and on…

  22. But the point Wendell Raeburn is that there is no one cure to fit all. So isn’t it sensible to treat them each on their own?

    • Thank you!

      This is an “All Lives Matter” level of nonsense.

    • yes but I don’t know how people have time to do their work when they get involved with every single cause. I honestly can’t keep up because I care about animals too.

      I guess that’s C’est la vie!

      Jessica the all lives matter issue had so many things factoring in that, I wouldn’t even start to explain but just to cut a long story short, I think that it is the increasing way where certain BLM folks acted as though it happened to no one else and only to blacks, which isn’t true. There were some extreme seeds in the pod that raised the shackles on some people and made white people who treated black people good feel unappreciated.

      Anyway, I did say I wasn’t going to tell a long story.

    • Linda Louison I think BLM based their raison d’etre on the evidence of systematic targeting of black neighborhoods for over-policing as well as judicial records of overreach and over-punishment. That in fact, happened to black Americans.

    • Jessica Joseph No it in fact happens to indigenous people all the time. Their murders also mostly don’t get solved and it’s far worse in Canada out there in the vast wildernesses. You don’t have to trust me or believe me but I am telling you that it is so.

    • Linda Louison Yes, I agree that First People’s are decimated by police corruption as well and were, in fact, the original victims of it. Fortunately they also have their advocacy groups too and in addition, BLM welcomes them as well.

    • Jessica yes so therefore the all lives matter or should we say brown lives matter when some black people don’t even accept them? BLM doesn’t need to ‘welcome’ them, BLM doesn’t set the standards, does it? There you go. That’s why some people say, ‘all lives matter’, it wasn’t to include whites in those instances, it was to include all different peoples who are taken advantage of by their over-lording society because .. it’s not only white societies that do injustice to all peoples.

    • Linda Louison I hope you realize that BLM was never saying “ONLY Black Lives Matter” 😉 They were simply saying, here is an issue affecting OUR African American community. It has its roots in the racist War on Drugs, which Nixon started and explicitly stated it was to disrupt black communities and lock up as many of their male leaders as possible. It has its roots in glaring racial discrepancies in sentencing, where black Americans would be given longer sentences for the same crime as a white criminal who got less. It has to do with statistics from the Innocence Project. So for example, of all criminal cases where the person was later found innocent, due to police or jury misconduct, new DNA evidence, witness retraction, sometimes after being executed or serving lengthy sentences, the VAST MAJORITY of those cases are of black people.

      A community has every right to rally around a cause directly affecting them, don’t they.

      No, it is not that BLM sets the standard for Civil Rights in general. But since they had the momentum and were gaining noteriety, they used that to generously extended their support to Indigenous People as well where possible.

      As stated on their website, “We work vigorously for freedom and justice for Black people and, by extension, ALL people.”

  23. You do of course recognise that more men die from prostate cancer than women die from brest cancer…. but all die…none the less

  24. The culture in Trinidad & Tobago is one where sexual violence against girls and women is dismissed. Often when women speak out, the men will deflect and say, this specific issue does not warrant specific attention, let’s generalize it as just “All kinds of violence”.

    Of course, this is as ludicrous as going to a Breast Cancer drive and complaining, why isn’t this an EVERY KIND OF CANCER drive?

    Some issues have specific causative factors that need to be addressed separately. You cannot treat sexual violence against girls and women by men, the same as gang violence or ethnic violence or war or every kind of violence against everyone.

    Just as you cannot treat one cancer the same as every kind of cancer. Specifics DO exist and require targeted with customized approaches.

  25. Let me know what is the date time and place for raising awareness of violence against everyone!