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22nd Annual Silent Witness March

Community 02 Nov, 2022 Follow News

The Silent Witness March

Deputy Governor, Franz Manderson and the Premier both joined in the The Silent Witness March

Karla Tatum

Inside Constitution Hall

By Christopher Tobutt 

 “Every1 Knows Some1” was the theme of the 22nd Annual Silent Witness March between the grounds of the Glass House on Elgin Avenue, past the court building to Constitution Hall. More than a hundred people came, silently carrying red silhouettes of women in solidarity with all the people who suffer silently, year after year.  His Excellency The Governor, Mr. Martyn Roper and his wife Elizabeth both joined in at the front of the march, along with Deputy Governor, Hon. Franz Manderson, and Premier, the Hon. Wayne Panton, The purpose of the march is to remember and honour those who have suffered as a result of domestic violence and bullying.

The Silent Witness March began in Minnesota in 1990 after a group of women, media and non-profit organizations chose to demonstrate against the growing amount of domestic violence cases in their area. In 2000, The Business and Professional Women’s Club (BPW) of Grand Cayman brought the initiative to the Cayman Islands. Today, the March is held each October during Domestic Violence Awareness Month in partnership with the Cayman Islands Crisis Centre, the Gender Affairs Unit and the Family Resource Centre.

Cheryl Myles President of BPW said, “Domestic violence affects people around the world. It does not discriminate, it happens to people regardless of age, gender, social or economic status, race or culture. As our nation recovers from the Covid 19 crisis, incidents of domestic violence have increased around the world, and also here in the Cayman Islands, as families face unprecedented stress, and financial uncertainty, while being isolated at home or without a job. The Business and Professional Women of Grand Cayman will continue to support local community groups, NGOs and individuals who are in dialogue about domestic violence, and how we can all contribute to changing the narrative. More prevalent than most people realize, one in four women and one in four men have experienced domestic violence in their lifetime.”

Bishop Clayton Martin said the opening prayer. As we marched in silence my mind went back to the Children of Israel as they marched around the walls of the City of Jericho in silence, and just like it happened then where the wall fell, my prayer today is that the wall of domestic violence will crumble under the face of a determined set of people like you are today, young and old march together to see the end of domestic violence.”

Representing the RCIPS, Detective Constable Brian Faint said, “We’ve processed over 100 protection orders we’ve also done our own work to protect, often against the wishes of the victim and in very challenging situations where they don’t want the protection orders taking place.”

Mareisha Spencer of the CICC said, “The mission of the alliance is simple: to eradicate domestic abuse in the Cayman Islands. We hope to do this through a multiagency coordinated response, advocacy, community education, and support for those impacted. By definition, domestic abuse is any incident or pattern of behavior characterized by an imbalance of power and control, where one person intends to harm or abuse another person who might be their intimate partner, ex-partner or family member.

Domestic abuse survivor Karla Tatum had the courage to speak up about her own nightmare of domestic abuse, which included physical and verbal abuse, over a prolonged period which led to loss of sleep, depression and anxiety.

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