The overwhelming response to rampant murder and domestic violence suffered by T&T females must move beyond the marching and candlelight vigils.
The deeply felt sorrow at the deaths of Andrea Bharatt, Ashanti Riley and so many other women must now be channelled into ensuring societal attitude change.
The change must begin in early childhood classrooms. A daily component of instruction must be part and parcel of basic learning.
From age five and onward, girls and boys must be aware they have to respect each other and to understand the roles they will play in one another’s lives.
This approach will have to be orchestrated between the Ministry of Education and all teaching staff, and must extend from kindergarten years to Sixth Form level.
It should never be taken for granted that parents alone are capable of clearly instructing their children about positive attitudes. T&T schools must be part of the inevitable process of learning self-respect throughout the entire school experience.
Trinidad and Tobago is a very small society with an acute shortage of trained psychologists and psychiatrists. We are extremely underserved when coming to mental health services.
We need to understand how, when and at which age domestic violence begins to seem normal.
Self-control and understanding that rape and violence are unacceptable responses to anger are paramount to ridding Trinidad and Tobago of domestic violence and murder.
We lack the capacity to monitor abnormal behaviours through childhood to adulthood. Marriage guidance counsellors are an important feature of the First World.
We lack this feature which would help contain domestic violence.
No disrespect is intended, but it is my view that hating is not enough. Marching will never be more than a knee-jerk response to a shocking experience.
The candle lighting, the prayers and vigils, the marching and the placards are but the sensors for the introduction of much needed pertinent responses to prevent repeats of our females suffering rape and murder.
Attitude change must begin at age five.