President of the People’s National Party Youth Organization, Krystal Tomlinson.
Photo Credit: Contributed
By: Suzell Wray
Mandeville, Jamaica- Motivational Speaker and Author, Krystal Tomlinson has cited Jamaica’s growing tolerance to domestic violence, particularly against women, to the country’s cultural roots that are solidified by its psychological approach to others.
She was speaking during the Northern Caribbean University’s (NCU) United Student Movement’s (USM) news and current affairs video podcast, Topics on the Hill, on Tuesday, April 13, 2021.
Tomlinson, who is also the President of the People’s National Party Youth Organization, shared that the nation’s children are indirectly being raised to believe they have power over others.
“We are raising children to believe they have authority over other people’s bodies, over other people’s thoughts and other people’s actions and that is not true. Our parents, as they exercise discipline over their children, are exercising discipline in that way too. ‘I am your mother, I put food on the table…I take care of you. So, if you don’t do what I say I have authority, to knock you down flat on the ground.’”
The discussion comes amid the country’s surge in violence against women, with the latest and most gruesome being that of the murder of 20-year-old accounting clerk, Khanice Jackson.
Tomlinson shared that young men are being told from an early age that once they are contributing or providing for a woman, it gives them automatic authority over her person.
“Even in the conversation with the accused, because he’s not yet convicted, around the Khanice Jackson murder. I think part of it was that he was doing her favours. Yes, he thought that if he was giving her free drive there was some kind of courtesy now owned to him, courtesy related to her body.”
The media personality further raised the call for an aggressive social intervention starting within the primary and secondary level of education.
“We need to start by re-tooling our schools with more guidance counsellors, you can’t have 1 guidance counsellor assigned to 500 children, coming from 500 households with 500 different psychosocial issues to deal with, it’s never going to get done.”
She further explained that every child must pass through these educational levels, therefore it is a good medium to address the psychological and behavioural issues that they may have.
Meanwhile, Pastor and Counselling Psychologist, Joel Shillingford, also echoed Tomlinson’s call- adding that women who are victims of abuse should always speak out.
“Any society that causes a woman to feel that she’s wrong to speak out is a sick society, we must take control of this thing from the root. So, for example, if a woman sees that she has been abused then it must be reported,” he said.
According to the United Nations Women Global Database on Violence Against Women, 27.8 % of Jamaica’s women are victims of lifetime physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence, 7% are in Physical and/or Sexual Intimate Partner Violence in the last 12 months and 23% are in Lifetime Non-Partner Sexual Violence.
Topics on the Hill is a bi-weekly program produced by USM’s Publications Sector that seeks to discuss and find solutions of national and local relevance to its students as they study remotely.