A recent report published by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) expressed significant concerns about the protective environment that the Jamaican state has created to reduce children’s vulnerability to violence.

AccGender-Based Violence in Jamaican Schoolsording to the 2008 Jamaica Reproductive Health Survey, approximately 20.3 percent of young women of secondary-school age (15–19 years) reported having been forced to have sexual intercourse at some point during their lives (Serbanescu, Ruiz, and Suchdev 2010). Such a finding has a high probable correlation to teenage pregnancy.

Gender-based violence is not removed from the context of Jamaica’s school system. In fact, school-age boys and girls have had their share of encounters with sexual, psychological, emotional, and verbal abuse. The situation is perpetuated in formalized systems such as the education system because it is one of the largest formal systems that requires the interaction of both genders.

Read the full article about gender-based violence in Jamaica by Dasmine Kennedy at Brookings.