Women and Girls Urged to Be More Assertive this Festival, 496-6700 is the 24-hour Hotline

MahMah, the Montserrat Women’s Resource Centre, is urging all women and girls on Montserrat to be particularly assertive this festive season to keep themselves safe from assault.

Says the Women’s Resource Centre Director, Shirley Osborne, “This year has been a particularly difficult one for women on Montserrat, with the spate of rape and physical assault in public places and in women’s homes that has been such a burden. This is highly unusual for Montserrat; it’s not typical at all, and that is one of the reasons why it is so terribly troubling.

“We want that Montserrat continue to be a space where women and girls can be confident in their safety and protection, so we are urging everyone to be on the alert and to take whatever measures they can to protect themselves.

“We remind women and girls that if they find themselves in danger or if they feel they might be, they must call the police first, not friend, not family. Call the Police Emergency number, which is 999. We encourage women to put the police on speed dial at the number 1, always ensure that their phone is fully-charged and if they’re walking at night or in secluded areas keep the phone in hand, not in their pocket or purse.”

“The Women’s Resource Centre has set up an information hotline which operates 24 hours a day every day – 496-6700. Women and girls can call at any time, 496-6700 and we will provide tips to help them assess the risk in situations and for protecting themselves from gender-based violence in all its forms.”

MahMah – the Montserrat Women’s Resource Centre provides safe space for women and girls of every age, a place to learn and teach, share stories, experiences and wisdom, create networks and strengthen support systems.