Bishop Clyde Harvey of St George’s-in-Grenada has called for a deeper emphasis in families, the education system and government, on working with males on the issue of handling situations without the use of violence.
Bishop Harvey’s comments came as the world observed International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, November 25.
Speaking to Good News Catholic Communications, the diocese’s communications arm, the bishop acknowledged violence is not only an act of men against women. He however appealed, for a “different approach” in tackling the issue.
“It is [the question of] ‘How do we envision a different way of men relating to women and women to men so that violence is not seen as part of it?’ I’m very, very concerned about that,” Bishop Harvey said in the brief clip.
In eradicating the problem of domestic violence, the “root” cause of the issue must be addressed. “At the root of it is two things: a fundamental disrespect for women which does not see the woman as another human being equal in dignity before God and the law. A lot of us do not see that. And then linked to that is the sense of property. There’s so many men who have a sense of ‘I own the women in my life’….” Bishop Harvey commented.
Bishop Harvey then shared an example of how one simple approach led to a better appreciation of women from their male counterparts.
He said while visiting a mixed school, he posed the question to the principal: ‘Is there anything you are doing at some stage of their formation at primary level which helps them to learn how to relate to each other in better ways?’
Role playing, Bishop Harvey asserted, is a “great” example. He also spoke of one of the “great experiences” he has had was where boys and girls of same-sex schools were brought together to learn ballroom dance.
“Wow. And just to learn how to hold the other party. Just to learn how to move, how to follow and be followed…those simple things led to a difference in relationships between boys and girls and eventually, when they went to secondary school, different relationships as teenagers.”
Bishop Harvey asserted that all ought to find ways to shift perceptions in Grenada if they want to eradicate gender-based violence.