“Broken Images” – a Report on Gender Based Violence on Belizean Youth

Today, Women’s Issues Network WIN-Belize launched “Broken Images,” a report on Gender Based Violence with a focus on Belizean Youth. The research, which was done in collaboration with the Women’s Department, was carried out last year. Over one hundred and fifty youth and women between the ages of fourteen and sixty-four from high schools, non-government and community-based youth and women’s organizations participated. Carolyn Reynolds of WIN-Belize said that the engagement of the youth in the process was very enlightening and there are several recommendations moving forward.

Carolyn Reynolds, Executive Director, WIN-Belize

“What stood out was that some of the youth were, yes, they know about the law or some don’t know about the law that they as youth can use when they are experiencing abuse. There is the issue of them being abused by parents or persons they know or by their own peers. We saw this in the males and females, high percentage of them abused by own peers. One of the tools used was “The Belizean Reality” a documentary developed by the Women’s Department, which showed how some of the abuse were done to women and what happened. Some of the youths were very angry and some of them even if it was reported there were nowhere for them to seek help or if they tell an adult they are not believed. So, these are some of the things they are grappling with in their society/community. They believe that they need to get protection from us.”

Carolyn Reynolds

Andrea Polanco

“You speak about the educational aspect of it; is there anything that surfaced while doing this report that perhaps need to be implemented; what are other measures to be looked at?”

Carolyn Reynolds

“The different measures, well education are one of them. One of the things is to put things in place at the schools like to have counselors at the school, or other areas like anger management and how to deal with persons who have experienced gender based violence. These are some of the recommendations that we would like the government to look at and other agencies to help in advocating for these recommendations to be implemented.”

The report was guided by the Women’s Department and funded by the United Nations Trust Fund.

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