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  • Violence Prevention Alliance

VPA Should Be Expanded - Says Shirley Pryce

Shirley Pryce, president of the Jamaica Household Workers Union

Shirley Pryce, president of the Jamaica Household Workers Union (JHWU) and the chairperson of the Caribbean Domestic Workers Network is recommending an expansion of the Violence Prevention Alliance (VPA).

Ms Pryce made the recommendation while addressing the VPA’s Steering Committee Meeting in December where she emphasised that the work of the organisation was too important not to be islandwide.

“We need an expansion of the Violence Prevention Alliance to be in parishes across the island. We need for it to have chapters in other parishes,” she said.

Ms Pryce also encouraged members of the Committee to be bold to enact changes. “I just want to emphasise and encourage you to be bold for change. Don’t feel like you are doing any harm. Don’t feel like you are badgering anybody. Don’t feel like you owe anybody anything. Just go out there and be bold. Do not be afraid to step out and to take chances,” she said.

She also recommended the forming of alliances with corporate Jamaica and networking with other critical organisations so the work of the VPA can be far reaching.

The president of the JHWU said that for the coming year there must be a commitment to be more strident and active in public education of the work of the VPA.

“We have to go out there and build awareness, we have to strengthen and uplift. We have to empower. No more whispering, we are going to start shouting as collectively as we can do it,” she said.

The VPA was launched in November 2004 during the University of the West Indies' Medical Research Conference. Its message is “Violence is Preventable” as it seeks to build an alliance with all sectors of society that creates safe communities where children can grow up free from fear and violence.

Its network of Alliance members, utilizes a data driven evidence-based approach to violence prevention, by supporting the promotion of primary prevention of violence, integrated community development and public education. It also increases collaboration and exchange of information between organisations on violence prevention; and lobbying for the integration of violence prevention into social and educational policies, thereby enhancing the promotion of gender and social equality.

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