Human Services Minister endorses state prosecution
Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Dr. Vindhya Persaud has endorsed state prosecution in an effort to promote accountability.
Currently, the domestic violence and sexual offences act is being reviewed through the ministry’s Spotlight Initiative to deal with the surge in existing and ongoing cases of abuse.
“We see a lot of times when people go to courts, they don’t continue on the tangent that they started. What happens thereafter, that issue or that case needs to be followed to conclusion.
One of the areas that I would like to see change is that the state continues to prosecute. So even if a woman pulls back and say ‘man sorry for, he,’ the state continues, and that is the important thing because people must be held accountable and accountability starts at an individual level.”
She made this declaration during a panel discussion held at the Department of Education, Region Three, as the ministry’s 16 Days of Activism- against gender-based violence campaign continues.
On December 8, the ministry will be launching a community advocate network labelled “I CAN”.
The acronym, “I CAN, you can, we can”, is the brainchild of the Human Services Minister, to combat the various dimensions of violence at an individual, family, community and country level with the aid of survivors’ advocates.
“The community advocate network will allow everyone to partner with the ministry in wherever they find themselves in many different capacities. Through this network, perpetrators of abuse and violence know that everybody is looking at them, they are under scrutiny. It is not only about turning eyes, there must be tangible intervention. An intervention is important but even more important is prevention.”
Survivor advocates are accessible to persons through the 914 hotline and have the responsibility of informing victims of their rights and services available to them.
The ministry will further use this period to amplify the work of the 914-hotline number as an important part of its fight against domestic violence.
Other activities planned during the 16 days of activism can be found on the ministry’s Facebook page.