Domestic violence impacts us all. It makes no distinction between age, ethnicity or creed. Of the victims of domestic violence in our country, almost three out of every four are women. One in three women over 25 have suffered some form of physical violence, with more than half of these women living in the Belize District.
This is not only wrong, but a violation of one of our fundamental rights as Belizeans, freedom from fear.
We should all understand that everyone is a victim of domestic violence, but for women who are beaten and abused, they are being robbed of their autonomy, security, and more so, they face tremendous threats to their health and safety. For this reason, we in the PUP are strongly opposed to any form of domestic violence but in particular against women and children.
Our #planBelize agenda will commit to do everything in our power to uphold the law and to defend the right of our women to be free from violence and abuse. Our Women’s Agenda, which will be launched in the coming weeks will celebrate what previous PUP Administrations have done to protect women.
Initiatives like passing significant legislative changes to make tougher sentences for those who commit violence against women.
The strengthening of the family court to address issues relating the family, and providing support to NGO Organizations that work directly with women’s issues.
Now we must go further.
This is why we commit to working with stakeholders like UN Women, UNDP and other social partners in development that seek to promote equality and to end domestic violence in all its forms.
Today we join this Spotlight initiative and pledge to work with you in contributing to ending family violence by strengthening policy and legislation that will guarantee increased protection of women and girls.
We will work towards building our capacity here in Belize to expand services and address the root causes that promote violence against women and girls. Victims of domestic violence not only face abuse, but often find themselves financially insecure. Also, children who witness domestic violence can be negatively affected for life.
Yes, all acts of violence go against our values, but domestic violence is worst for it is dehumanizing and goes against decency. It goes against our most fundamental ideals. So we all have a responsibility to try to end this grave problem.
Our pledge is that we will work hard to build on the progress made so far and improve domestic violence prevention and response efforts.
We will do more to reach people seeking help and we will ensure that the workplaces for women are safer and that our women earn equal pay for equal work.
For we are convinced that this is an important part of building a Belize that works for everyone and we believe that Everybody fi win.