We are deeply concerned and saddened about the all to frequent acts of violence against women in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Over the last week or so, there have been several incidents of violent acts against women. On or about January 4th 2020, the nation learned of the horrific attack on a Cane Garden resident, Ms. Monique Hutchins. Ms. Hutchins was allegedly beaten with a hammer by her former partner.
Following that incident, sometime on the eve of Wednesday, 29th January 2020, several voice-notes were circulated in public. The recordings captured the voice of a young woman as she pleaded with a man to stop beating her, as he threatened to kill her. Again, violence was used as the means of resolving whatever conflict there may have been between the parties. This can never be acceptable or justified.
Then, on or about 29 January 2020, reports emerged that another young woman had been brutally chopped about the face in the community of Greiggs. The reports are that, in the incident, two other women were involved in causing the teenage girl to receive the chop wounds.
On January 30th 2020, our nation learned of the most shocking and deadly incident in the recent spate of violent crimes against women in SVG. In that shocking crime, Arianna Taylor Israel, a nurse, was shot to death in the precincts of a secondary school in Kingstown, where she had gone to pick up her son who was a student there. It is alleged that the person responsible for this fatal shooting was her estranged husband.
We in the New Democratic Party, like most Vincentians, are outraged by the seeming unchecked violence against women in our society. These are only the recent high-profile cases, but the problem of violence against women, including sexual violence, reaches into every community and walk of life. Any such act of violence or abuse is one incident too many. Whether the cause is domestic in nature or otherwise, all such acts must be condemned and treated with equal seriousness. The full weight of the law must be brought to bear to deter them.
The recent violent incidents must galvanize our community, irrespective of political and other differences, to unite in common cause and demand loudly and persistently that more be done to seek to bring an end to violence against women.
We condemn in the strongest possible terms these violent acts perpetrated against women and girls in our country, and indeed wherever they occur.
We simply cannot continue to treat violence as if it were an acceptable means through which our differences can be resolved. The NDP stands ready to work with Government, churches and other social organizations to create and implement a comprehensive crime fighting plan — one that will target acts of violence against women. In the meantime, a thorough investigation must be done to determine how the police responded to Arianna Taylor Israel’s complaints about threats against her life and what could have been done to help her.
Our sympathy goes out to the family and relatives of the victims.
It is time for constructive national dialogue and effective action.