Two Beaconites were thrilled to take part in the BVI Literary Arts Festival last week. Beacon Editor Freeman Rogers, above, hosted a panel with fiction authors Tiphanie Yanique, Tobias Buckell, and Celeste Rita Baker — all of whom write about the greater Virgin Islands — as well as Sharma Taylor, who writes about Jamaica. Mr. Rogers also sat on a panel about crisis reporting with Virgin Islands Daily News Editor Eunice Bedminister. Beacon Web Editor Zarrin Ahmed, meanwhile, hosted a panel themed “The Ancestors Speak” with Dr. Katherine Smith and Art Christopher. Both Beaconites thoroughly enjoyed the experience and felt honoured to contribute. They also hope to strengthen ties between the Beacon and the festival next year. For more on the event, check out the story on page one and Poet Laureate Dr. Richard Georges’ lecture on page three.
Domestic violence cases have been trending upward in the Virgin Islands, Gender Affairs Coordinator Tara Sue Morgan said during the territory’s recent observance of Domestic Violence Week. “From 2016 there’s a constant increase,” she said, noting that more than 100 cases have been reported each year since then. Most victims, she said, were women. A Beaconite will add more statistics. The United States Department of Justice found that 76 percent of the perpetrators in non-fatal domestic violence cases from 2003 to 2012 were men who victimised women. Further, data from United Kingdom-based Women’s Aid found that 92 percent of defendants in UK domestic abuse prosecutions in a one-year period between 2019 and 2020 were men, and most victims (77 percent) were women. A Beaconite suspects that VI statistics are similar. Given that men are overwhelmingly a common denominator here, the Beaconite wonders why domestic violence is still being framed as a “women’s issue”? Of course, men can also be victims of abuse as well as perpetrators. And of course women deserve opportunities to empower themselves through offerings like self-defence courses, but this will not solve the problem. Women coming forward to tell their stories of abuse, whether physical, verbal or sexual, is also very important, and in that spirit, the Beaconite herself will take this moment to come forward as a victim and survivor. However, this is not a problem for women to solve. She believes the only way sufficient progress will occur is for men to take the lead in consistently conveying to other men — and, even more importantly, to boys — that women are to be valued and protected, not abused, and demonstrate it through their actions. And though government, and particularly schools, have roles to play in this effort, it ultimately starts in the home. The Beaconite applauds the many men and women who are already stepping up, but there is much more work to be done.
Yachts on display
A Beaconite was thrilled to see the boats at the Nanny Cay marina for the Charter Yacht Society’s annual Fall Charter Yacht Show. One of them, Moon Dragon, featured delicate macrame swings. The Seaclusion was adorned with flags that announced the presence of the yacht just as much as its large stature. And that was just the beginning. The show made the reporter yearn for another sailing experience soon aboard a catamaran.