Let me begin by saying to all our blessed women: “Your presence in this society is needed; you are no lesser and it is God’s divine wish that you be here. I give thanks to him for blessing the world, men and the family with you.”

It is with great regret when I sometimes see the way you are treated by men, totally being taken advantage of at times. In Trinidad and Tobago the evidence is there: our women and girls are abused and violated. The rights of women and girls are simply ignored and this puts them through great pain and suffering.

I am making a humble appeal to all females based on what is taking place right before our very eyes in T&T. please choose partners, friends and associates wisely. As a man I know well what is out there and I am not saying that every male person is bad but coming out of some homes are some “angry haters and selfish individuals”. They just have no respect for anyone, including women, watch out for them, be careful before running into relationships. Do not just look at the cover of the book but examine as far as possible the entire contents of the book.

Those fast-fix sites are a hunting ground for “psychos”. They know exactly what to say to win you over, they’re trained in their “trade”, have your head on; you can do without that. At the end of it all you have the power to allow and disallow who becomes part of your life. Taking into consideration the times that we are living in it is wise to take your time when making decisions about partners. Better safe than sorry later on.

The problem with abusive conduct towards our women many times ending in death continues in T&T. We have witnessed many unfortunate incidents involving degrading behaviour towards the female gender, most recently the stabbing of a school principal and another young woman. A study done by the Inter-American Development Bank showed that one in three women in T&T have been victims of intimate partner violence and with a population of 1.4 million this runs into the thousands. Also the TTPS Victims and Witness Support Unit said between the periods 2005 to 2015 some 300 women were killed due to domestic abuse with some 7,000 reported cases. The numbers tell us where we are and that change must take place or else the future is very dim in this area.

It is not uncommon to hear of girls being sexually abused by close relatives, women use as sex slaves, consistent domestic violence, office harassment, with women receiving the brunt of the assault.

The time has come when we must unite to put an end to the ills that thousands of our women face on a daily basis, including our young girls having their lives destroyed at a young and tender age. Our laws and penalties for violating the rights of women must be tough so those who persist in doing so will think twice before going down that road.

Our women must once again be able to feel safe and secure knowing that there are people standing with them, who believe their rights must be respected at all times, and who are willing to do all that is possible to ensure that this takes place.

Let us as men examine ourselves and do what is right in the sight of God and man. She is a gift given to us; let us cherish that gift by showing respect by the way we treat that person.