(TRINIDAD NEWSDAY) – UWI’s St Augustine campus’s Institute for Gender and Development Studies (IGDS) is alerting the nation to the harsh reality that apart from the health and socio-economic effects, child abuse and gender-based violence are also major components of the social fallout caused by the covid19 pandemic.
The institute saidchild abuse and gender-based violence will be severely exacerbated by current social, cultural, and gendered inequalities which have become a part of the nation’s DNA over time.
It is therefore calling not only on TT but countries in the region to be mindful of gendered insecurities that are heightened when victims of child sexual abuse (CSA) cannot access the safety of hours spent at school. TT must consider the implications for victims of all forms of gender-based violence (GBV) in the home, who will no longer be able to seek solace in the release offered by the opportunity of work outside.
Similarly, the country must be aware of the increased psychosocial tensions produced by the economics of underemployment and unemployment, which are disproportionately carried by women, who make up the backbone of the regional service industry and informal sector.
The country’s current reality is a complex one, and it is necessary for all to respond more relevantly, holistically, and strategically to the challenges. We are not exclusively economic beings, a release from the institute said, and policy responses must consider emerging non-economic insecurities.
Vulnerable citizens will not all have equitable access to those remedies made available by the various agencies. Existing structural, social and gendered inequalities will deny access to some of our very vulnerable citizens. Therefore, social sector service providers need to take into account the factors that will influence the inequalities of access to the services they are providing.
Whether these factors include increased home care responsibilities, age, sex, physical ability, level of technological connectivity etc., they are critical to the envisioned efficacy of our social sector response.
Most importantly, individually, it said, as we are called upon to isolate ourselves, become teachers and technological experts and the like, we must also reflect on ways in which we can revive what regional feminist activist Peggy Antrobus refers to as our “Caribbean gift economies.”
Now more than ever, the institute said, we need to find innovative ways to share all those goods we give to each other as expressions of solidarity, love and caring.
“We at the Institute for Gender and Development Studies consistent with our mission to advance social justice, promote gender-responsive human relations, and development in the wider society remains committed to the ideals of development responses that are aware of the social, cultural and gendered dimensions of how our population will survive covid19,” the release said.
NUMBERS TO CALL IF IN NEED OF HELP:
* ChildLine 24-hour hotline (live chat on website 8 am-4 pm Mon-Fri): 800-4321
* Children’s Authority 24-hour hotline: 996/8002014
* Families in Action 24-hour hotline (English and Spanish): 628-2333/365-4858
* Family Planning Association: Youth 627-1760
PORT OF SPAIN: 623-5169
* National Domestic Violence 24-hour hotline: 800-SAVE
* Police: 999
* Queens Park Counselling Centre and Clinic: 627-1163 Ext 2085
* Rape Crisis Society: 627-7273 [email protected])
* TT Coalition Against Domestic Violence (CADV): 624-0402
* TTPS Victim and Witness Support Unit: 624-8853
* TTPS Child Protection Unit Secretariat, Belmont: 612-2588/621-3160
* CPU divisions are based at police stations
See list via: https://ttchildren.org/services/registry