Seventh-day Adventists women and leaders from across the West Jamaica Conference territory have joined voices with the international campaign to stop violence against women, during the Women’s Ministries Convention and march on Sabbath, August 25, 2018, in Montego Bay.
Scores of women, clad in their purple outfits, came together at the Seventh-day Adventist Conference Centre for the morning service of the annual event. The venue shifted as they marched to the Montego Bay Number 2 Post Office Courtyard on Barnett Street.
“God had to include this story in the Bible,” said the guest speaker, Roxanne McKoy Chambers “a horrible story, that not only points out the grave effects of violence but the blow that results when we fold our hands and keep silent” she exclaimed, during her sermon which was based on the story of Tamar’s rape in the book of 2 Samuel.
She was speaking during the morning service of the Women’s Convention under the theme: “End it Now!”, the caption of “a global initiative to raise awareness and advocate for the end of violence around the world. It aims to mobilize Seventh-day Adventists around the world and invites other community groups to join in to resolve this worldwide issue,” says the movement's website.
“God has called us to action against violence, to cry aloud like Tamar against all forms of physical, sexual and emotional abuse and hereby affirm the dignity and worth of every...human being,” she emphasized.
Chanting and holding placards and banners carrying messages against domestic abuse, particularly against females, scores of women, men and children extended the call of the speaker during the march in the afternoon.
President of the West Jamaica Conference, Pastor Glen O. Samuels added his voice to the cry of the women: “If you have been prone to culturing a proclivity of violence, change is possible!” he exclaimed. “You do not have to remain a slave to violence, change is possible. We need to create a culture of care if we are going to end the violence of all sorts. We need to create in our homes a safe place for our children-- both male and female” he continued.
“The culture of silence has lent itself to continued violence. We must develop a culture of care, where you say what you see. For those who remain silent, advocating this ungodly theory: ‘informa fi dead’...there will be no one tomorrow to speak for you. We must become our brothers’ keeper” Pastor Samuels ended.
Representatives from the Police High Command in St. James, who shared in the entire day’s service took the opportunity to reassure the members that they too stand against the practice of domestic violence, against men and women.
“We want you to know that the police care” says Inspector Franklyn Hunter “and as our motto states, we serve, we protect, we reassure and we mean every word. Therefore, we partner with you the citizens in carrying this message, ‘End it Now!’: violence against women and children. Men do not feel left out, we know that you are abused too.” Inspector Hunter also went on to address the issues of abuse against men, runaway children and the decline of crime in St. James.
There were presentations from other police officers on the matter of abuse. Attorney-at-law, Mrs. Sashoy Ellis-Tate, spoke on the legal ramifications of domestic violence.
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