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Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Research shows domestic violence is a major driver of The Bahamas' crime problems
'Crime Driven By Domestic Violence'
research shows domestic violence is a major driver of country’s crime
problems, Social Service Minister Melanie Griffin revealed.
the premiere of the docudrama “Get Out” at the New Providence Community
Centre over the weekend, Mrs Griffin said Bahamians cannot continue to
“bury their heads in the sand” when it comes to reporting abuse within
the home, as research undertaken by the Bahamas Crisis Centre shows
children who are abused become desensitised to violence, and are more
likely to carry weapons to school or social events.
put it bluntly, many of the young males paraded before the courts today
charged with violent crimes and many of the young girls committed for
uncontrollable behaviour were themselves likely victims of some type of
abuse,” Mrs Griffin said.
the years we have hurt ourselves by ignoring the problem, because
studies show that unchecked domestic violence not only escalates, but
manifests itself in many other different ways.
“The stark reality is that our crime problem will not be solved if we do not solve the problem of domestic violence.”
within the family, particularly against women and children, has been an
“open secret” in the Bahamas for many years, the minister said.
too often we have turned a blind eye and a deaf ear to the scars and
screams of those who are regularly beaten and by doing so we have, in
fact, hurt ourselves.”
explained that Bahamian law defines domestic violence as physical,
sexual, emotional, psychological or financial abuse committed by a
person against a spouse, partner, child or any other person who is a
member of the household or dependent.
its part, she said, the government has passed legislation in the form
of the Domestic Violence (Protection Orders) Act, 2007 providing legal
protection for victims and counselling intervention for perpetrators.
2008, changes to the Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Act
increased the sentence for the offence of rape to life imprisonment and
criminalised voyeurism, sexual harassment and certain forms of
pornography, she said.
year the government established a National Task Force on Ending
Gender-Based Violence and approved a State Accountability Study to end
Violence against Women and Children funded by UNWomen. These two
initiatives are designed to co-ordinate the work of all agencies in the
fight against violence and to produce a national strategic plan to
eliminate gender-based violence.
work of the National Child Protection Council and the Child Protection
and Urban Renewal Units of the Department of Social Services, as well as
our community and school-based programmes are also ongoing.
must all realise, however, that no government can do everything. We
need the help of every man, woman, boy and girl to fight this onslaught.
It is up to you to report the crime of domestic violence just as you
would any other crime,” she said.
Griffin said the filming of the docudrama was a step in “the right
direction” as it seeks to raise the level of awareness of the problem
and discuss what can be done about it.
organisers are commended for bringing the project to fruition and we
pray for its success. I thank you,” she said. “The importance of this
film cannot be stressed enough as it brings focus to a most pervasive
global and national problem, domestic violence.
applaud Mr Trevor Clarke, director, and Mrs Patrice Lockhart-Stubbs,
executive producer, the production staff of Fujon Media Video and
Photography and the actors involved in creating this docudrama for their
outstanding work,” Mrs Griffin said.