By Aaron Humes: Minister of Human Development Dolores Balderamos Garcia has weighed in on the story of the moment – accusations of intimate partner violence against Leader of the Opposition, Patrick Faber, now struck out in court.
The Minister first commented that despite a series of such allegations, once again the charges were not pursued through, as happens to many victims in such circumstances, “self-doubt, fear, criticism or coercion,” and that the phenomenon does not discriminate, nor, she insisted, that it is only “a women’s issue” or “a private matter.”
“Domestic violence is a crime; it affects every member of our community, and we all have a role in addressing it,” the Minister pressed, referring to physical, emotional, mental health, and financial impacts, as well as trauma to children which if left unaddressed, perpetuates the cycle of abuse.
The Minister announced that “a firm request” would be made to Cabinet for budgetary resources to strengthen interventions, safeguards, and public awareness, a legislative review, and support to women, children, and families facing domestic abuse.
Balderamos-Garcia said that because leaders must always be held to a high standard, Faber’s office and stature, as well as prior behavior, make his current behavior worse. She also referred to a statement by the party in 2019 condemning such behavior and closed by reiterating “zero tolerance” for such behavior by all Belizeans and for Faber to resign in the interest of all women of Belize and all Belizeans.