For­mer Mayor likens Trinidad’s Vi­o­lence Prob­lem to Syria’s

The Star (St. Lucia) - - REGIONAL -

On Wed­nes­day Fe­bru­ary 24, 2016 while ad­dress­ing a fo­rum on do­mes­tic vi­o­lence against women, for­mer Port-of-Spain Mayor Louis Lee Sing likened Trinidad and Tobago’s crime sit­u­a­tion to the on­go­ing tur­moil in Syria. Sing spoke at the fo­rum, which was held at the In­sti­tute of In­ter­na­tional Re­la­tions, St Au­gus­tine Cam­pus of the Univer­sity of the West Indies in Trinidad & Tobago. Ac­cord­ing to the for­mer Mayor it ap­peared as though the coun­try could no longer pro­tect its most vul­ner­a­ble cit­i­zens.

“If a na­tion can­not pro­tect its most vul­ner­a­ble, it is not a na­tion. Trinidad and Tobago is not yet a na­tion. Vi­o­lence al­to­gether must be stopped in this coun­try,” he said Wed­nes­day. Sing said vi­o­lence against women was a na­tional is­sue that must be com­pre­hen­sively ad­dressed by leg­is­la­tors.

Louis Lee Sing also re­vealed some star­ling fig­ures on the num­ber of women bat­tered for the pe­riod 2005 to 2015, and the num­ber of per­sons who breached the pro­tec­tion or­ders of the court. There was a to­tal of 7,566 re­ports of as­sault by beat­ing dur­ing this pe­riod and 1,238 cases where the pro­tec­tion or­ders were breached in this pe­riod.

In Trinidad more than 300 women have been mur­dered as a re­sult of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence for the pe­riod 2005 to 2015, the au­di­ence also heard.

Dur­ing Wed­nes­day’s fo­rum a vic­tim of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence turned up to voice her con­cerns over the lack of jus­tice in her mat­ter.

A num­ber of cases were also high­lighted to un­der­score the state of affairs. In one sce­nario a man was abused by his wife who took a heater and held it against his chest, burn­ing the im­pres­sion of the heater into him. In an­other, a six-year-old boy was so badly sex­u­ally as­saulted by his own father that the child was no longer anal­re­ten­tive.

The na­tion is in pain as peo­ple are pris­on­ers in their homes and women, men and chil­dren are be­ing abused daily, said head of the Trinidad and Tobago Po­lice Ser­vice Vic­tim and Wit­ness Sup­port Unit, Mar­garet Samp­son-Browne on Wed­nes­day.

Louis Lee Sing.

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