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Retired DCP cites domestic violence, crime link

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

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RETIRED Deputy Commissioner of Police Novelette Grant says there is a link between domestic violence and crime in Jamaica.

“As a country, we need to recognise that domestic violence is the underbelly of general crime and violence, especially gang violence in Jamaica. We are not making that link,” she said.

Grant was speaking at a recent public forum, titled, 'Big Ooman and Big Man Chat: Addressing Intimate Partner Violence (IPV)', held at the Courtleigh Auditorium, Kingston, in commemoration of International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and 16 days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence.

The forum, organised by the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, in partnership with the UN Women Caribbean and United Nations Population Fund Sub-Regional Office for the Caribbean, was held to raise awareness on IPV and the findings from the Women's Health Survey.

Citing the link between domestic violence and crime, Grant said that “when a woman throws out her 11-year-old son and says 'I can't keep you in the home, because you are mashing up my love life', that child is going to be picked up by whom?,” she questioned.

Grant said she was encouraged to form a group, dubbed, 'Enough is Enough', to address domestic violence and abuse in Jamaica, after seeing reports about domestic violence. She said the initiative started as a chat group on social media and involved civilians, police officers and the Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Olivia Grange.

“Our advocacy is really to train, educate and raise awareness. I also want us to look at where some of the gaps are where the legislation is concerned. I want to raise awareness of the Domestic Violence Act,” she said.

She said that persons, including staff within the court system, need to be aware of the provision of the Domestic Violence Act, how the Protection Order works, how domestic violence is perpetrated and how it is experienced.

“There is a big gap there and training and education can address that,” Grant added.

According to the Women's Health Survey 2016, women who had entered into a live-in partner relationship at an early age (under 19) had a higher prevalence of lifetime intimate partner physical violence.

It also shows that although the prevalence of IPV was higher among women with lower levels of education than among those with the highest levels of education, they had been victims of intimate partner physical violence at some point in their lives.

Acts of violence included slapping, beating with fists, pushing, kicking and attacking with a weapon or threatening to do so.

— JIS


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