A preliminary report on the prevalence and demographic characteristics of domestic violence should be in the hands of the Acting Director of the Bureau of Gender Affairs, Patricia Hackett-Codrington, by month-end.
Mrs. Hackett-Codrington disclosed that the enumerators had completed their field investigations and the report was currently being prepared.
“We are looking forward to receiving the information because it will give us a better idea of the incidence of domestic violence here. At the moment, we have no real knowledge of the frequency, the groups of persons affected by it, or the types of domestic violence, for example, physical or emotional; or how pervasive it is in Barbados.
“So, with the report, we will be better able to design programmes and target those persons we need to. We will also continue to work with our stakeholders to provide and expand services to address the issue,” she stated.
The Caribbean Development Research Services Inc. is undertaking the survey on behalf of the Bureau, since the true incidence of this plague is unknown here because it is rarely reported.
The survey is expected to complement the Data Collection Protocol on Domestic Violence, which was approved by Cabinet one year ago. Barbados’ current data collection systems are regarded as “inadequate due to under reporting, under documentation, administrative incapacity and a lack of appreciation for the use of statistics in the policy formulation and monitoring cycle”.
However, the protocol is expected to provide profiles of victims and perpetrators of gender-based violence, suggest factors that give rise to it, identify at-risk groups, and ascertain the correlation between domestic violence and other socio-economic and cultural factors.