Kingstown, St. Vincent and the Grenadines: Criminal activity and acts of violence should have no place in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

We in the New Democratic Party are deeply concerned and saddened about violence against women in our country. It is a concern for everyone. Violence against women and girls is violence against the whole society.

When we learnt of the death of Mickiesha Gumbs, who was reportedly killed on Saturday 7th March 2020, allegedly by a man with whom she had had a relationship, it seem all too familiar. We could not help but remember that on or about January 4th 2020, another woman, Ms. Hutchins, was reportedly beaten with a hammer, allegedly wielded by her former partner. We also recall sometime on the eve of Wednesday 29th January 2020 voice-notes were circulated on social media with the voice of a young woman pleading with a man to stop beating her, as he threatened to kill her. Then on January 30th 2020 there was the horrific news about Arianna Taylor-Israel, a local nurse who was shot to death allegedly by her estranged husband.

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. We must do more to protect women and girls in SVG. It is unacceptable and deeply disturbing to us that women no longer feel safe in their own homes and on our streets, while doing simple everyday activities.

President of the New Democratic Party, Dr. the Hon. Godwin Friday, in response to the reports of Mickiesha Gumbs’ said: “I am deeply saddened by this senseless act of violence that has taken the precious life of a mother and left her three young daughters to grieve and try to come to terms with a terrible loss. We in the NDP condemn in the strongest possible terms these violent acts perpetrated against women and girls in our country, and indeed wherever they occur. It is time for constructive national dialogue and effective action to protect those most at risk and discourage and punish perpetrators.”

The New Democratic Party remains committed to collaborating with the government, other institutions and individuals in efforts to end violence against women in our country.