Respectful Relationships - ASPIRE-ing to End Violence Against Women

Date: Friday, November 30, 2012

Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago: Overall women report higher levels of fear of sexual assault, of being killed or being beaten by a spouse or partner, and a significant percentage of adolescent girls report that their sexual initiation was forced or somewhat forced.

UN Women Programme Specialist for Ending Violence Against Women (EVAW) Gabrielle Henderson shared these realities for Caribbean women and girls while offering support to a new campaign aimed at improving young women’s ability in particular, to negotiate safer sexual practices.

Ms. Henderson was addressing the launch of ASPIRE’s “Respectful Relationships” campaign launched during the 2012 observance of 16 Days of Activism to End Violence Against Women. UN Women is providing funding support to the project and other partners include the Citizen Security Programme and the Institute for Gender and Development Studies (IGDS) of the University of the West Indies, Saint Augustine campus.

This new initiative is part of the organisation’s wider Zero Tolerance Campaign on Domestic Violence which was launched in 2011 and supports their efforts to increase awareness about citizen rights and responsibilities with a particular focus on Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights and Responsibilities.

The initiative will be multi-pronged and will include in this first phase, Creative Arts Interventions for at risk youth with an emphasis on girls; as well as advocacy and outreach component which has a wider appeal and applicability for a more mature demographic.

The UN Women programme specialist quoting the 2012 Caribbean Human Development Report on Citizen Security noted that “Women indicated higher levels of fear of sexual assault (30.4 percent  compared with 11.1 percent among men), of being killed (35.4 to 32.8 percent), and of being beaten by a spouse or partner (11.5 to 8.6 percent). Women self-report that they had experienced domestic violence at higher rates than men.”

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