Domestic violence is an issue which Government, the Church and social agencies must come together and tackle.

Prime Minister Freundel Stuart expressed this view today to the media when he was asked to comment on the seeming increase of cases in Barbados relating to domestic violence.

Mr. Stuart told the reporters: ???I don???t think that this is a problem that only a Government can deal with. I think there is a spiritual dimension to this, there is an educational dimension to it and I think that all of our social agencies are going to have to come together and confront this challenge???

???This ready resort to violence is going to get us nowhere and we have to attain some level of consensus on this in the society, so that all of the relevant agencies can come together and launch a frontal attack at the educational level, at the spiritual level and certainly at the political level to get people to understand that ultimately resorting to violence is a sign of weakness, it is not a sign of strength??????

Acknowledging that domestic violence could not be eliminated by legislation, the Prime Minister noted that the Domestic Violence Protection Orders Act was passed in 1992. He continued: ???That was not designed to end domestic violence; it was designed to give people who were victims of it a remedy. And I hear persons talking about stiffening penalties and so on; that is not going to end domestic violence.

???Domestic violence is a social disease that has afflicted Barbados from the 17th century. These societies were constructed in violence and domestic violence is only one dimension of violence??? I think that we have to aim to become a gentler set of people, but this could only result from the Church playing a more activist role, our schools nurturing people in a more holistic way and helping them to understand that differences will always arise but they have to be managed in intelligent ways.???

According to Mr. Stuart, there would always be differences in the world and he suggested that people must learn to handle challenges.??

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