Thursday, September 11, 2014. PATRICK E. JONES Reporting: “Violence against women…is unacceptable and a gross violation of human rights.” That statement was issued today by the Special Envoy for Women and Children, Kim Simplis Barrow.
The statement noted that violence against women, whether “in the family, workplace, community and society in general,” is wrong, going further to explain that it “instills fear and insecurity in women, often leading them not to report or to withdraw reports.”
The statement from the Special Envoy encouraged both men and women who are victims of violence to report such acts and to follow through with legal proceedings “stressing that fear, social pressures and shame should not be a deterrent to seeking help.”
The statement issued this morning did not refer to a particular incident of violence against women; but we note that an allegation levelled against the area representative for Collet and Minister of Education, Patrick Faber, is that he allegedly physically assaulted a young woman at his home earlier this month.
A report made by the young woman to the police in Ladyville was subsequently retracted and Minister Faber later told reporters that the retraction was because “the incident” did not happen as was publically reported.
The Special Envoy’s statement says that under the Domestic Violence Act “the Police Department has an obligation to respond to all reports of domestic violence regardless of the perpetrator.”
Mrs. Barrow says that “failure to hold perpetrators accountable for their actions not only encourages further abuse, but also gives the impression that violence against women and or men is acceptable or normal.”
With a promise to work with relevant stakeholders to review legislation and policies designed to protect victims of domestic violence, Mrs. Barrow says: “the violence is perpetrated by one man, but the responsibility goes far beyond him. The friends and neighbors who ignore or excuse domestic violence, the doctor or nurse who does not go beyond treating the wounds, the police who may refuse to intervene and all of us, in some way or the other, are responsible for the continued acts of violence against women and men.”
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