Postgraduate Student, The University of the West Indies
Marcus Kissoon is a board member of the Network of NGOs for the Advancement of Women and a member of the Rape Crisis Society of Trinidad and Tobago/ Coalition Against Domestic Violence for over 10 years.
At age 19, he joined the civil society movement working on women, gender and youth issues with a great emphasis on sexual crimes. He notes it was not easy, being a young male in an environment dominated with women’s issues but he persevered and continued helping many young school girls and concerned parents and relatives of children and women who were sexually assaulted. His activism allowed him to see a need for young people and men to be involved in the movement to end sexual violence and stereotypes of sexual crimes.
Mr. Kissoon has a background in Social Work allowing him to practice trauma counselling and behaviour change via national policy and community outreach. Some policies that he has worked on at a state level are the National youth policy, National Gender Policy and the Domestic Violence Act, which is now being revised. Marcus’s most recent activism has focused on global sexual crimes and dynamics in other cultures such as Suriname, Jamaica, USA, and Romania. He conducted action research in Romania on a person’s living with disabilities and sex worker’s diaspora in the Caribbean.
Currently, as well Kissoon is focusing on marginalized youth living with and affected by HIV and male victims of rape. His passion for ending sexual crimes has influence his experience after several years in a rape crisis center, men are affected by sexual assault but the infrastructure and gender socialization was not there to support them. He is determined to give the men who are suffering from childhood traumas a safe space.
He is currently a Postgraduate Student and Research Assistant at the Institute for Gender and Development Studies’ Break the Silence campaign at The University of the West Indies. Also, he is the psychosocial support consultant for LINKAGES/FHI360, working with key populations and their emotional and social welfare needs. He is currently researching the “Processes of Disclosure and Male Indo-Trinidadian Child Sexual Abuse Survivors' Masculine Ideals and Gender Negotiations”. Kissoon is a recipient of a National Youth Award Trinidad and Tobago-2012 and recipient of the finalist award of the Commonwealth Youth Award for Excellence in Development Work 2015.