By Khalea Callender, World YWCA Programme Associate, from YWCA of Trinidad and Tobago.
On January 31st, 2014, Jayanti Dubay-Ramrattan, a 32-year-old nurse and mother of one who was missing for more than one week, was found dead in the trunk of her car which was parked in the hospital car park of where she worked. Police said the body was found by crime scene investigators (CSI) while examining her vehicle. She was strangled, stabbed and beaten to death by who police believe was her husband. Her body was clad only in her underwear and her nurse’s duster was found, shoved aside mere metres from her body.
This incident is not the first of its kind on the island of Trinidad and Tobago. Already, this year 2014, there have been 10 domestic violence murders in January alone. These types of incidences are beginning to cause great outrage throughout the country and the recent surge in domestic violence is becoming a grave concern for the YWCA of Trinidad and Tobago.
Although, the YWCA of Trinidad and Tobago (YWCATT) joins the nation in outrage and mourning of the recent episodes of violence against women in the country, we have been advocating for its end long before the recent incidents. Since 2009, the YWCATT has been campaigning to raise awareness on gender based violence which transcends age, ability, status, race, ethnicity, education, nationality, sexual orientation and religion. We advocate for a society where all persons can live free of violence.
YWCATT uses a visual campaign, referred to as the “In Her Shoes” which is taken around the country raising awareness of gender based violence. “In Her Shoes” exhibition is a Trinbagonian adaptation of the YWCA Scotland’s 104 pairs of shoes exhibition. It interactively showcases images, messages and stories on gender based violence. The pairs of shoes are strategically positioned to depict “a walk in her shoes” in solidarity with the women and men who suffered or who have lost their lives, at the hands of their abusers. The bags represent the emotional struggle that many in violent relationships experience as the contemplate leaving.