Justice Frank Seepersad
By Sue-Ann Wayow
THE birth of Jesus Christ reflects the immense love of God for humanity and it should be used as an example for citizens to demonstrate love to each other especially women.
Justice Frank Seepersad in giving a Christmas message to the Presbyterian Church on Sunday, said this year has been a tumultic year, plagued with a pandemic and all other domino effects and the murder of teenager Ashanti Riley.
He was speaking at the St Andrew’s Presbyterian School in Princes Town.
The judge said in order to protect women, men needed to be taught respect, love and empathy and the greatest change needed to come from within the home.
Seepersad said, “Her (Riley’s) murder reminded us that in unabated fashion our women continue to be brutally assaulted, maimed or murdered and the majority of these horrific crimes may have been committed by the misogynistic and misguided men.
“This is a time of year usually characterised by celebration of the birth of the Christ and we shouldn’t be mourning the murders of so many of nation’s women. This has to stop, we need to fix it and fixing it mandates that we focus on our men. This Christmas we have to motivate, remodel and refashion our men so as to mitigate the mayhem.”
Seepersad said apart from the festivities and traditions, persons should also celebrate Jesus’s entrance into hearts which signifies the removal of sin and to live a life of faith which rejects divisiveness, hate and violence and embraces forgiveness, peace and love.
He added that like a group of people in the Bible, the Laodiceans, the further people move away from God, the more dysfunctional society becomes.
The High Court judge said that the role of men in the family unit and misleading concepts of masculinity and machismo needed to be remoulded, that men can cry and that they can hurt, men needed spiritual transformation and churches needed to review the approach to gender-based violence.
“Women can’t be told to subjugate themselves to their husbands or to stay in dysfunctional relationships because marriage bonds are unbreakable,” he said.
He added the laws regarding men and women needed to be revisited and a mandatory domestic violence offender registers should be considered.
Referring to the home environment, Seepersad said there should not be different behavioural rules for boys and girls.
Change was also needed at the home disciplinary level and at the education level.
Seepersad said, “It has to be repeated and reinforced that a real man loves and treasures his spouse , just as Joseph did with Mary. A real man talks out his problems, cries, asks for help and understands that victory and peace of mind is not found in the barrel of gun or the blade of a knife but in honest open relationships with God and with those who are closest to him.”