The Special Envoy for Women and Children, Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow wishes to highlight the fact that violence against women in the family, workplace, community and society in general, is unacceptable and a gross violation of human rights. Violence whether occurring in the home or in the community, instils fear and insecurity in women, often leading them not to report or to withdraw reports.
Mrs. Simplis Barrow encourages both women and men to report acts of violence and follow through with legal proceedings; stressing that fear, social pressures and shame should not be a deterrent to seeking help. The Domestic Violence Act is there to provide protection and the Police Department has an obligation to respond to all reports of domestic violence regardless of the perpetrator. Failure to hold perpetrators accountable for their actions not only encourages further abuse, but also gives the impression that violence against women and or men is acceptable or normal.
“The violence is perpetrated by one man, but the responsibility goes far beyond him. The friends and neighbors who ignore or excuse domestic violence, the doctor or nurse who does not go beyond treating the wounds, the police who may refuse to intervene and all of us, in some way or the other, are responsible for the continued acts of violence against women and men,” states Mrs. Simplis Barrow.
She calls on all society, women and men; boys and girls to condemn violence against women and put an end to the violation of their human rights and fundamental freedoms.
The Office of Special Envoy will work with stakeholders to review legislation, systems and policies with a view to ensuring increased protection to victims of domestic violence.