– Calls for Stronger Measures and Social Intervention To Protect Women and Children

The Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ) and all its member associations join the voices across our country condemning the brutal murder of Khanice Jackson. We convey our deepest sympathies to her family and loved ones.

Khanice Jackson joins a list of young women whose lives have been tragically stolen. Yetania Francis, Jasmine Deen, Joeith Lynch, Shante Skyers and Ananda Dean – these are the names of only a few of the young women who are abducted, raped and murdered in Jamaica annually.

Jamaicans must not allow Ms. Jackson’s killing to become another nine-day wonder, we must use it as a catalyst to strengthen short term protection measures in our communities and drive behavioural change. Our country continues to be stunted by pervasive crime and violence and it will take strong action by everyone – the political directorate, the security forces, civil society and well-thinking Jamaicans – to curb this crisis.

The right to life and one that is free of violence is the right of all. We cannot stand by and allow our country to be over-run by these criminal elements.
The PSOJ is calling on the Government, through the Ministry of National Security, to be more aggressive with implementing measures to protect women and those who are vulnerable to predators.

Priority must be placed on widening the Jamaica Eye network. The inclusion of more cameras on the network will support the work of security forces to quickly identify and apprehend those who commit crimes and perhaps even get the opportunity to intervene before lives are lost.
The upgrade and widespread promotion of the Stay Alert app must also be prioritized as it provided some level of personal security to Jamaicans who own a smartphone.

Behaviour change and a cultural mindset, especially among our men, will play a critical role in reducing and preventing these incidences of violence against women. National anti-violence campaign such as ‘Liv Gud’ must be expanded to have a more robust presence to have the desired effect of reducing crime and violence and promoting social responsibility of each and every Jamaican citizen.

At a community level, the PSOJ is urging members of the civil society and community groups to collaborate and to work with the police to strategically boost efforts to stimulate behaviour change, particularly among our youth and increase community vigilance.

We recommend the development of a cohesive and inclusive strategy to address violence against women and children. This would then be included as a deliverable in the existing framework of the Crime Monitoring and Oversight Committee.

It will take an all hands on deck approach for us to take our country back from criminal elements and to prevent another generation of women being raised in an environment where they feel unsafe and are vulnerable to predators. Together we must all utilize our positions and places of work and influence to challenge the notion of male entitlement. We must also examine our laws to determine which needs to be strengthened and where sanctions need to be enhanced to act as a further deterrent.

The time is now. Cultural and social changes are needed which is long-term and difficult but requires more strategic intervention and resources by all obligated to make Jamaica better and equal. Let us honour the memory of Khanice Jackson by stimulating behaviour change, community intervention and technology to save the lives of our women. As stated by Sir Patrick Allen in his 2013 Independence address to the nation, ‘There is nothing wrong with Jamaica that cannot be fixed by what is right with Jamaica’.

Member Associations of the PSOJ

Global Services Association of Jamaica
Council for Voluntary Social Services
Incorporated Masterbuilders’ Association of  Jamaica
Institute of Chartered Accountants of Jamaica
Institute of Internal Auditors
Insurance  Association of Jamaica
Jamaica Association of Certified Embalmers and Funeral Directors Limited
Jamaica Bankers Association
Jamaica Customer Service Association
Jamaica Developers Association
Jamaica Gasolene Retailers Association
Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association
Jamaica Information Technology Services Alliance (JITSA)
Jamaica Insurance Brokers Association
Jamaica Securities Dealers Association
Medical Association of Jamaica
Realtors Association of Jamaica
Shipping Association of Jamaica
Sugar Manufacturers Corporation of Jamaica Limited (SMCJL)
The Human Resource Management Association of Jamaica
The MSME Alliance
United Way of Jamaica