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OUTSIDE THE PULPIT: Law firmly on victims’ side


Rev Errington Massiah

OUTSIDE THE PULPIT: Law firmly on victims’ side

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O Lord, how long shall I cry for help and thou wilt not hear? Or cry to thee “violence” and thou wilt not save? So the law is slacked and justice never goes forth. – Habakkuk Chapter 1 Verse 2 and 4.

 

THE MINISTER of Social Care, Constituency Empowerment and Community Development Steven Blackett must be congratulated for successfully piloting the Domestic Violence (Protection Orders) Amendment Bill last Tuesday in the House of Assembly because it was long overdue.

It is important for those who are abused that police will be able to enter homes without warrants as well as issue protection orders on the spot and seize firearms found in the home. These were among measures outlined by Minister Blackett.

The police, I believe, from this amendment will recognise that they have a greater role to play than before.

Hopefully, the act will give victims of domestic abuse more support. I am happy about the amendment because too many women have been killed because of domestic violence.

I hope the public recognises that women assault men too and I hope that such women will be arrested too.

Men, you must not be ashamed to call the police when you are assaulted by women. That’s why the law is there. It is for both men and women.

Under the amendment, physical domestic abuse includes verbal abuse, threats, violence, malicious damage to the victim’s property and unwanted communication. I am sure that this act will help reduce domestic abuse.

Before the amendment becomes law, it has to go to the Upper House and Governor General Sir Elliott Belgrave must assent to the bill. I hope that when it fully comes into law (operation) that necessary action will be taken against offenders.

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