The Anglican Diocese in Barbados has accepted the challenge of wrestling family violence to the ground.
And earlier today, Anglican Bishop of Barbados and Archbishop of the West Indies, Dr. John Holder and the Advocacy and Social Justice Commission of the church which is headed by chairman, John Goddard, met with members of the Press at Mandeville House, Henry’s Lane, St. Michael, to launch the programme.
Bishop Holder said: “I think that it is very important that the church keeps this society conscious of some of the challenges that we face as human beings. The church does this against the understanding that we should strive always to do only what is good for our brothers and sisters in this life. It is against this background that the church therefore speaks to the problems in the society that seem to go contrary to what the church believes over the dignity of humanity. One such problem is violence. We as a diocese at this time, will be focusing on violence as it relates to the family. We are all aware that this is one of the problems that we have in the society.
“We hear a lot about the violence that is inflicted by a group of younger persons on maybe some older persons. However, there is a silence somewhere, an underground stream. In that stream we find a lot of abuse and violence within our families. This diocese is saying that it is about time that we as a society pay more attention to this and do all that we can to stem this tide of violence that we know is there in our society. The group of the Diocese, the Advocacy and Social Justice Commission led by John Goddard has taken on this challenge and this project. We hope that through the next year we will be able to engage in a number of programmes that will make this society conscious of the problem and challenge the society to do more than we are doing now to deal with the problem of violence within the family,” the Bishop added.
The members of the Press were told that the Advocacy and Social Justice Commission was set up by the church and includes Chairman John Goddard, a retired senior teacher of Harrison College; Orville Durant, a retired Commissioner of Police; Michael Alleyne who is an attorney-at-law; Sadie Goddard-Durant, who is a mental health consultant; Imogene Clarke, a retired banker and Sheila Wilkinson, a retired nurse.
Goddard pointed out that the members of the commission had seen violence as a major concern within the local society.
The former senior teacher said: “We have chosen family violence for two main reasons. We feel that it is within the family that attitudes and habits and behaviours are shaped. We feel that a lot of violence that we see manifested in the wider society has its roots within the family. Children experiencing family abuse, grow up to be abusive and pose tremendous problems for the society. What we see in the society now they have been acting out a lot of what has happened within the homes. The church, led by Jesus Christ is concerned about wholesome family life. Therefore anything which impacts negatively on family life is of concern to the church.”