OPPOSITION Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar and a former minister have called on the Government to introduce electronic monitoring bracelets for domestic violence offenders, following the beheading on Tuesday of a Penal mother of two.
In a statement posted to her Facebook page yesterday, Persad-Bissessar also called on the national community to “be your sister’s keeper”, and extended empathy to women suffering in domestic violence situations.
The former prime minister said the Government must implement its promises to “protect our women”, but also stated, “I challenge everyone, be your sisters’ keeper—if you hear or see violence, Say Something! Do Something! Report abuse to the police—call 999 in case of an emergency or report directly to the TTPS app.”
“I am sad to learn that more of our women continue to face heinous acts of violence, many times at the hands of persons they once knew and trusted,” Persad-Bissessar said.
“We are also seeing where our Venezuelan sisters are not spared from these practices and I ask, what is being done in combating such heinous acts?”
She added: “The Government promised implementation of the electronic monitoring bracelets to help prevent repeated breaches of protection orders, but we are yet to see this come to fruition.”
Persad-Bissessar, who vowed to fight for the legislation that would help protect women, went on to extend understanding to women experiencing domestic violence, stating: “To the women who have experienced any form of violence I say to you, I understand your pain, I understand your suffering. I also want to say that you are stronger than you can ever imagine.”
She further appealed, “Let us protect our women,” and called “on the Government to pay serious attention to this out of control attack on our women. I will continue fighting for proper legislative protection and more social support for the women and children who are living in violent households and those who have escaped it”.
Bracelets, removal from home
Former justice minister Christlyn Moore also took to Facebook yesterday to appeal for the implementation of protection mechanisms in the law, including the introduction of monitoring bracelets.
However, Moore also called for “the removal of the defence of provocation for spousal murder”.
She listed other measures she felt could make a difference and save lives, including “mandatory psychological assessment upon a complaint being made”.
She also called for the “immediate removal of the abuser from the home for two days upon complaint”, and an “assessment of the risk to children and steps to immediately eliminate those risks, including the revocation of parental rights and re-homing”.
Moore said there should be “provisions for dismissing any State employee” convicted of a domestic violence offence, and called on the public to “add your ideas for a national domestic violence policy”.
“Our sisters can’t wait anymore,” Moore stated.
Brown: Everyone’s duty
Co-ordinator of the Network of non-Governmental Organisations Hazel Brown made similar appeals to the national community to view the issue of domestic violence as everyone’s concern.
Brown said the issue remains ongoing, and called for the participation of all stakeholders of society.
The activist said the problem must be tackled at the root and deal with the socialisation of men, but said the burden must not lie only on women.
“There are stakeholders we often don’t look to, but they must also be involved, because this is a small community and usually everyone knows what is going on,” Brown said via telephone.
“These include the religious leaders, employers and co-workers,” she said.
Brown said some employers could consider expanding their human resources in such a way that the necessary tools are made available to people experiencing domestic violence, including offenders.
“We all have a responsibility and are all stakeholders,” Brown stated.