Gender Affairs releases statement on killing of Angel

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Transgender woman Angel

The Directorate of Gender Affairs within the Ministry of Social Transformation, Human Resource Development, Youth, And Gender Affairs, wishes to convey heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Angel who died tragically on Wednesday morning.

Her untimely passing at the hands of an intimate partner marks another life lost to intimate partner violence. While we have made national progress in heightening the awareness of intimate-partner violence in our communities including the establishment of the Support and Referral Centre Angel’s death reminds us that the work of eradicating the gendered norms that influence this type of crime is far from over.

While women are disproportionately affected by intimate partner violence, members of the Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay, and Transgender (LBGT+) community are even more vulnerable to this type of violence with 30-50% of transgender individuals globally having experienced some form of intimate partner violence in their lifetime, as compared to 28-33% of the general population according to global statistics.

Women face disproportionate rates of violence and we must recognize the diverse experiences of survivors, including women of the trans experience. Gender-based violence, including sexual assault, intimate partner violence, and sexual harassment can happen to anyone, regardless of gender, sexual orientation or gender identity.

People within the LGBT+ community often have gender identities that reflect a direct contradiction to what is expected by society, this often puts them at a higher risk of violence and hate crimes. We must seek to step outside ourselves and our personal opinions and speak with one voice; there is no excuse for violence.

Although not unique to the LGBT+ experience, another significant aspect of intimate partner violence is the background of stigma and discrimination against which it occurs.

Many LGBT+ experience multiple forms of physical and psychological trauma from partners, family members and strangers. From childhood, even those who are suspected of being part of the LGBT+ community can face rejection from their families of origin, hate speech or hate crimes in their communities, or bullying and discrimination at their schools or workplaces.

This type of psychological torment can shame many members of this community into silence out of fear of further victimisation.

 The Directorate of Gender Affairs, within the Ministry of Social Transformation, understands that there are significant barriers to accessing care and services among marginalized communities. Social stigma and the fear of victimisation, mistrust, and a lack of confidence in the available support systems can deter persons from reporting crimes committed against them and from seeking the necessary care and services in the aftermath of an incident of violence. We must say no more to all forms of intimate partner crimes and abuse.

 If we are to achieve true sustainable transformation and development, we cannot leave anyone behind. Antigua and Barbuda is party to several international conventions and treaties including the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Violence Against Women (CEDAW) which remind us that every member of the public, especially our most vulnerable, has the right to live free from violence and discrimination.

All survivors should feel confident and comfortable in accessing services and support. As we work together towards a future without violence, we must commit to protecting the most vulnerable among us. Let us hold ourselves accountable, understanding the value of offering empathy to those who may be different from ourselves.

Not only do we share a home-land, Antigua; we are all human beings. Our hearts and minds go out to Angel’s family and friends as they seek to navigate life in the aftermath of this tragedy. The Directorate of Gender Affairs Support and Referral Centre offers non-discriminatory, client-centred care to victims of all intimate of violence.

 All SARC personnel and members of our Sexual Assault Response Team have been trained on appropriate trauma-informed response procedures to gender-based and sexual violence especially among vulnerable groups. If you or someone you know is experiencing intimate partner violence, the doors of the Antigua and Barbuda Support and Referral Centre is open to you. We are located on the corner of Nevis Street and Friendly Alley for walk-in visits or you can contact our 24/7 crisis hotline at 463-5555.

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7 COMMENTS

  1. Empathy – (The ability to understand the emotions or feelings of another) Well i speak for me,i do not know what it is to be gay,neither do i want to know..I have no Empathy whatsoever for any form of Sodomy. I sympathize of course with the relatives and friends of the individual,but i do not empathize with any LBTGQI or whatever.. Why should i show empathy to them are they in need? Seem Society is seeking special treatment for these people.Personally i have no interest in how they live,neither do i have the time to harass or bother them,but they not be getting any empathy from me..Tell them go look for Christ..

  2. This is a DOMESTIC VIOLENCE case. Why make it about sexuality?? No human being deserves to have their life snuffed out in such a manner. Have mercy Jesus on all of us.

  3. I am not making it about Sexuality- i was responding to the Call from the writer of this article for others to be Empathetic to others different from themselves..All i am saying is the writer must have misunderstood the meaning of the word Empathy,because how can you ask others to Empathize with someone for the lifestyle they chose to live? I was in no way referring to this isolated incidence,but to the words of whomever penned the article.. Maybe you missed the part where i sympathized with the relatives and friends of the deceased. No one can give life therefore no one should take it regardless who the victim is. For me a call for Empathy on the part of the Gender Affairs is a bit confusing..Empathy for what?

  4. Why talk about other people discriminating LGBT when this is about 2 persons in the lGBT community ? That’s violence within the community members. Not persons outside the LGBT community

  5. The Directorate of Gender Affairs ought to re-visit its release on the killing of “Angel”.The Police Scenes of Crime Specialist visited the crime scene and the doctor was subsequently called. The medical doctor examined the victim who was pronounced dead and the “GENDER” was clearly idefined as “MALE ”
    The second paragraph of the Directorate of Gender Affairs release, commenced as follows.
    “Her untimely passing at the hands of an intimate partner makes another life lost to intimate partner violence !”
    Based on the Police report and the medical Doctor findings, recalled that both parties referred to the deceased as a “MALE ”
    The Directorate of Gender Affairs used the pronoun “Her” in referring to “Angel”. Their release went on to elaborate that Angel was a member of the Lesbian Bisexual Gay and Transgender (L. B. G. T) community.
    Almighty God created the human race with two genders, male and female.
    Satan and his diabolic worshipers and followers created the so called (L.B.G.T) category.
    The Directorate of Gender Affairs directly disregarded the official gender of the deceased as was promulgated in the Police and medical Doctor report.
    They vowed to sensitized the Nation with their Satanic category (L.B.G.T.), which is an abomination and secular.
    Among other things, the Directorate of Gender Affairs must apologize to the Nation, for emphasising that Angel was a member of the Lesbian Bisexual Gay and Transgender community, this statement violates Schedule 2 of Antigua and Barbuda Constitution order 1981.
    Additionally, the release signifies a lack of respect to all Nationals and gross disrespect for the office the Directorate of Gender Affairs. The author of that release did not do justice to the Government of Antigua and Barbuda.
    God Help Us

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