Effective Communication Will Stem Domestic/Intimate Partner Violence

Reverend Dr Carla Dunbar (centre) takes a group photo with Major Effiom Whyte (left), member relations coordinator and Edison Taylor, business relationship and sales manager at JN Bank Port Antonio at the JN Circle Meeting, recently.

Marriage and family therapist, Reverend Dr Carla Dunbar points out that effective communication between partners will assist to stem domestic and intimate partner violence.

Rev. Dunbar made the recommendation while she addressed a JN Circle Meeting at the JN Bank, in Port Antonio, Portland, recently. The discussion was organised by the JN service club, to highlight the increasing number of reported domestic and intimate partner violence in the parish.

“We need to strive for effective communication, because everybody communicates,” she pointed out. “Invariably, we rarely communicate our true feelings, therefore, that is one of the challenges many persons have.”

The Certified Professional Life Coach stated that most of these conflicts arise from the fact that one partner wants to be in control; and when that control is lost, there is often animosity, resentment, and malice, which can then escalate to domestic violence.

She asserts that effective communication and a person’s freedom are two requirements for lasting relationships. She also noted that, by nature, women tend to be more talkative, while men are socialized as introverts.

“Our men are socialised not to talk. When boys are growing up, if they talk too much, they are called a “sissy”. Therefore, our boys grow into men, believing that ‘less is more’ and then they enter into relationships, as the silent type. The irony is that a very talkative woman marries a man who does not have much to say; and this can create a challenge,” she pointed out.

Dr Dunbar stated that it is critical at the onset of a relationship, to recognise that your partner is different from you; and, therefore, patience should be employed in the relationship. She also underscored the importance of counselling, before persons get involved in relationships.

Edison Taylor, business relationship and sales manager at JN Bank Port Antonio, said that Rev. Dunbar was brought in to address members of the JN Circle, because some members had identified, domestic/intimate partner violence as being of major concern in the parish.

“Our JN Circle here in Port Antonio will help us as members to build a network of effective relationships from which we can draw to address issues which impacts us as a community,” he added.

The JN Circle Port Antonio meets on fourth Wednesdays at the JN Bank Port Antonio branch.

Dr. Dunbar further stated that recent statistics showed that some 33 per cent of reported domestic violence was against women, and eight per cent were against men. In recent months, the parish has been rocked by two high-profile cases of domestic/intimate partner violence.

In August, a woman was stabbed to death, and her house set ablaze in Portland. The deceased woman was identified as 50-year-old Maureen Johnson of Olivere housing scheme, Buff Bay, Portland.

According to police reports, Johnson and her common-law husband had a dispute at their home about 10:00 pm; and, during the altercation, the man allegedly stabbed her several times, prior to setting the house on fire and fleeing the scene. Johnson’s charred remains were later found, during a cooling down operations, after a unit from the Buff Bay fire station responded to the fire.

The month before that, Rohan Martin, an undertaker of Guy’s Hill, St Catherine, allegedly killed his girlfriend, 29-year-old Latoya Hill, during a dispute at their home in David Lane in Portland. Investigators believed her death was caused by blunt force trauma to her head.