AG: Community Approach Needed To Tackle Domestic Violence

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Attorney General and Minister of Home Affairs, Adriel Brathwaite, has repeated calls for this country to adopt a community-based approach in addressing issues related to domestic violence.

And, he has indicated that a meeting, led by the Ministry of Family, would be convened early next year with key stakeholders to set clear targets for the country.

He made these comments during a courtesy call from Chief of the Americas, Europe and Central Asia Branch for the Office of the High Commission for Human Rights, Gianni Magazzeni, at his office yesterday.

Mr. Brathwaite expressed concern about what he termed ???message fatigue???, and whether or not the messaging currently being portrayed was constructive. ???No one steps back to say, ???Where are we? What do we need to do? Do we have a firm place in place to reduce domestic violence????,??? he noted.

He told Mr. Magazzeni and his delegation that Barbados did experience deaths as a result of domestic violence, and was currently in the process of making legislative changes.

The Attorney General noted that in the interim, the Royal Barbados Police Force had established a Family Unit which was carrying out ???good work???. But, the Minister stated that placing emphasis on having the judiciary deal with issues related to domestic violence was ???misplaced and misguided???.

???We need to go back to basics. We need to go back to the communities and convince people that the answer to conflict is not violence,??? he said.

During the visit, Mr. Brathwaite also highlighted Barbados??? strides in the area of human trafficking, noting that significant training of the island???s Police and Immigration Officers and non-governmental organisations had been undertaken.

Mr. Magazzeni praised the island for its efforts to eliminate domestic violence and also offered training and assistance to Barbados in this and other areas.

???We could put together tools which would be readily available. It is a way to address what the international community is calling on member states to do,??? he stated, while adding that such measures would also enable them to see how national tools and procedures could improve the model for the region.

julia.rawlins-bentham@barbados.gov.bb

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