Tue | Nov 20, 2018

VPA calls for social-intervention programmes to stem domestic violence

Published:Friday | November 9, 2018 | 12:00 AM

The Violence Prevention Alliance (VPA) is calling for social-intervention programmes to address intimate-partner violence in the wake of the killing of nine-year-old Steve Johnson, whose murder stemmed from a domestic dispute at his home in Windsor Heights in St Catherine.

While condemning the killing, the VPA stated that domestic violence, particularly intimate-partner violence, has become a growing problem. According to the VPA, this type of violence has had a profound and, in some cases, devastating effect on children, as demonstrated in the killing of young Johnson and other tragic incidents since the start of the year.

"The high level of aggression and the resort to violence as a first step to resolve conflict is tragic within itself. As a society, we have to learn how to resolve conflicts without instantly resorting to violence," said the VPA. "We need to have social interventions where targeted communities are engaged in organised activities that will uplift the community and educate them about alternatives in addressing conflicts." The VPA said that strategies such as counselling, mediation and anger management are to be employed.

Underscoring the problem, the VPA pointed to a recent study conducted in St Catherine that showed that arguments and fights accounted for 68 per cent of violent injuries to female patients at the Spanish Town Hospital in 2017. The study, conducted by the VPA and funded by the Citizen Security and Justice Programme, was released earlier this year at peace-building workshops held in Clarendon, St Catherine, Kingston, and St James.