Preparation and planning for the annual Silent Witness March taking place on Friday, 18 October began several months ago. A steering committee comprising of representatives from the Business and Professional Women’s Club of Grand Cayman (BPW), the Cayman Islands Crisis Centre, the Family Resource Centre, and the Ministry of Community Affairs’ Gender Affairs Unit (GAU) met regularly on the run up to the event. All these organisations play a key role in working to end domestic violence and bullying in the Cayman Islands.
“We believe that we are stronger together,” said GAU’s Senior Policy Analyst (Gender, Diversity and Equality) Karlene Bramwell.
“By combining our ideas, energy and resources; we hope to increase public awareness of these issues that affect so many in our community,” she added.
GAU’s $500 contribution will offset the cost of staging the march, which ends with a ceremony on the steps of the Legislative Assembly. When Ms Bramwell presented the cheque to Cheryl Myles of BPW, she explained that the contribution went further than the donation. The Ministry’s commitment is also reflected in the decision to close Grand Cayman’s Department of Children and Family Services and the Needs Assessment Unit offices slightly earlier on Friday 18th, to allow staff to attend the march.
According to Ms Bramwell, participants join in the two-mile march to not only show their support of survivors of domestic violence and bullying; and to stand up for those suffering in silence; but also to remember those who have lost their lives as a result.
“We encourage companies, government officials and staff, civic organisations and others to take part and be a champion for this worthy cause. We ask for nothing except one hour of your time to show you care and to bear witness,” she concluded.
The Silent Witness March starting at 3:30 p.m., outside the Government Administration Building, ends at Heroes Square. Attendees are encouraged to wear either purple or their organisation’s uniform, and to display their banners and placards.