Re-launch of Boys Project to Address Violence among Young Males

Officials of the Department of Social Services, the Department of Gender and Family Affairs and the National Task Force for Ending Gender-based Violence in The Bahamas teamed up Wednesday to re-launch the “Reclaiming Our Boys” Project.

Minister of Social Services and Community Development, the Hon. Melanie Sharon Griffin said the re-launch has the ability to “positively alter the social conditions which contribute to violence within our communities.”

“We must remain steadfast in our efforts to provide a future free from violence for our young men and boys,” Mrs. Griffin said. “We must remain steadfast in our support and prayers for the families of victims and perpetrators of violence, and we must remain steadfast in our efforts to rid our communities and this country as a whole, from the scourge of violence.”

“Reclaiming Our Boys” is a violence prevention project that targets young men and boys – a demographic that has largely become both the victims and perpetrators of violence in The Bahamas.

The project combines prevention, response and accountability initiatives/strategies contained within the National Strategic Plan to Address Gender-Based Violence. The Strategic Plan was approved in February, 2016.

The launch took the form of a workshop that was held under the theme: “promoting Women as Equal partners with Men in National Development and conducted by Ms. Gabrielle Henderson, Senior Programme Specialist, United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) and Mr. Tyrone Buckmire of the Legal Aid and Counseling Clinic, a non-profit organization based St. George’s, Grenada.

The Legal Aid and Counseling Clinic assists with the development of psycho-educational programmes that address domestic violence and other forms of gender-based violence matters; provides legal research and advocacy and public education and awareness.

Minister Griffin, applauded local officials for Wednesday’s re-launch of the project.

“Given the high incidences of violence seen over the past few weeks involving mainly young men and boys, this programme is both timely and much-needed,” Mrs. Griffin said.

“Far too many of our young men and boys are dying and far too many families re crying. This programme aims to put in place measures to address the high levels of violence by reclaiming the young men and boys that have fallen prey; measures to discourage a future life of violence for boys and put in place measures promoting healthy forms of conflict resolution for them, including through educational and other initiatives.”

Mrs. Griffin said the programme “fits squarely within” the mandate of the Department of Gender and Family Affairs within the Ministry of Social Services and Community Development.

“Critical components of the Department’s mandate include advocating, coordinating programmes and activities and informing policies which improve the lives of not only women and girls, but men and boys as well.

“Recognizing that strong, inclusive and equitable nations are created when women and girls and men and boys partner equally to address the social challenges facing societies, the Department stands firmly behind the ideas undergirding the Reclaiming Our Boys Project,” Mrs. Griffin added.


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