It is difficult to know what to say when someone is murdered, but it is even more difficult when it’s a child. Last Saturday (Sept 6) the lifeless body of 14-year old Shante Claxton from Jessups Village, Nevis and a student of the Charlestown Secondary School, was discovered in a bathroom at the St. Thomas’ Primary School. Shante was brutally murdered. [Click Hear To Listen WINNFM Report]
Every parent who has experienced the sudden death of a son or daughter, knows the emotion that Shante’s parents must be feeling. As a parent myself, I cannot imagine the shock of someone killing my child.
In small communities across the island of Nevis, the tragedy is hard to swallow but if you are miles away from Nevis, I understand if this is not a major issue. This has happened before, and this will happen again especially if you live in Jamaica, Trinidad or Guyana.
But I do care about this story; this could have been my child. As a member of the team at MyCaribbeanScoop.com, we care about this story; a few months ago we carried a story of 11 year old Husaené Martin from Nevis, and a subsequent follow up story makes this seems closer to home. We express our deepest condolences to parents and relatives of Shante Claxton.
But Shante could have been your child, your niece, your sister or your neighbour.
Increasingly we are seeing more of these violent acts across the Caribbean. In the past, children were spared from this type of violence but today there is no guarantee that even an infant will be safe.
In the past, children in the Caribbean were protected from harm. I remember as a child in Jamaica, I did not have to live in fear of attending school, nor have fears of being harmed on school premises, even on a weekend. In most communities in the Caribbean, our neighbours kept an eye on our children and we did likewise.
Today when a child or an infant is brutally murdered we are no longer surprised. It’s almost as if we expect this to happen. Many of us get angry for a day but quickly return to our everyday life. Personally that’s what I would have done a few years ago, that’s what most of my friends did. We go through the shock and awe when another tragic murder takes place; “It’s just how things go in the Caribbean”
But shouldn’t our children live in a free and peaceful environment, free from any form of abuse or violence? Isn’t this a human right? Isn’t this a Caribbean tradition?
What can we do?
Felicia Browne, Gender Justice Advocate, suggests that Caribbean societies and their communities should engage in various forms of child protection acts which will provide young girls and boys, the necessary protection that they require. [Read Browne’s recent article ]
But advocates like Browne, face a daunting task, many Caribbean countries are slow to implement effective legislations that are necessary to protect the rights of children.
Browne makes a dire plea that parents, guardians, community members and advocates stand firm in eradicating violence against women and children.
You can make a difference, even a small difference!
November 25 is observed as the International day for the elimination of violence against women and girls. Orange day, as it is commonly known, highlights the importance and protection of women and girls. It is designed to draw awareness to genderbased violence across the globe.
On November 25, 2014, I will be wearing orange, in memory of 14-year old Shante Claxton and all the women and girls across the Caribbean who were murdered. I will be wearing orange in support of all the people across the Caribbean still suffering from violence. I hope you will too.
More stories on the murder of Shante Claxton
Two Suspects In Custody For Teen Girl’s Murder
Parry condemns killing of Shante Claxton
Third Suspect Nabbed In Shante Claxton Killing
Students at the Charlestown Secondary and St. Thomas’ Primary still traumatized by the horrific killing of Shante Claxton