Posted: Wednesday, February 9, 2022. 9:49 pm CST.
By Aaron Humes: While not voting by division, the Upper House joined its colleagues in the House of Representatives in condemning domestic violence at today’s meeting on its version of the Domestic Violence Motion, 2022.
Senators told personal stories of abuse, violence and increasingly, indifference in official circles – such as Government Senator Isabel Bennett, who told of a man who reported being hit with a knife by a woman only to be laughed at by police when he went to the station to report it; or Opposition Senator Jacklyn Burns, who recounted a friend’s story of terror at the hands of her partner, witnessed by the friend’s children.
Lead Opposition Senator Michael Peyrefitte summarized the point for the Opposition when he quoted a song to say “there is nothing domestic about domestic violence.” He added that neither it is private – indeed, he said, it is a crime against the State, and so when it comes to future prosecution, the presence and need to testify of the virtual complainant should not be the sole determinant, as in murder where of course the victim is dead and cannot speak for themselves.
The “big issue” ignored on domestic violence matters, Peyrefitte said, is that “usually in the case that around the abuser there are apologists for that abuser, supporters, defenders, people who derive some benefits from that abuser. So, these very same people would encourage the victim to not press charges, to not make a big deal about something, to keep it a private matter and for it to not be an issue for the sake of embarrassment.” In addition to calling for legal consequences for those who abet domestic violence, he also made note that he felt out on a limb in the recent matter of Patrick Faber, his party’s lame-duck leader, when after making his initial statement, the Government’s arms and others were in his view slow to respond.
Leader of Government Business, Senator Eamon Courtenay, in wrapping up the debate, referred to the circumstances of the Faber case (without calling him by name in respect of standing orders): “Why are we here? We witnessed unprecedented victim-shaming, re-victimization. Once again, once too often. The flip side of the coin was on display as well: the perpetrator, with his co-conspirators seeking to absolve him, played out for all to see, going on national television and revealing the personal plight of the victim. That concatenation of events called for us to pause as the Legislature, as a Government, as a people, and say, if the most powerful and most privileged in our society is allowed to escape in circumstances such as this; if a professional woman is forced to undergo the trauma that she must have experienced, the pain that she must have experienced, if she must undergo the vilification and shame and victim-shaming and re-victimization and nothing happens, we are all worse for it.” Thus, he concluded, it was the “opportune time” to shine the light of the ugliness of the situation and offer solutions – “a time for action.”
Аdvеrtіѕе wіth thе most visited news site in Веlіzе ~ Wе оffеr fullу сuѕtоmіzаblе аnd flехіblе dіgіtаl mаrkеtіng расkаgеѕ. Yоur соntеnt іѕ dеlіvеrеd іnѕtаntlу tо thоuѕаndѕ оf uѕеrѕ іn Веlіzе аnd аbrоаd! Соntасt uѕ аt [email protected] оr саll uѕ аt 501-601-0315.
© 2022, BreakingBelizeNews.com. This article is the copyrighted property of Breaking Belize News. Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.