Arrindell pushes domestic violence registration code

POSTED: 04/11/11 12:40 PM

St. Maarten –The president of parliament Gracita Arrindell will be seeking broad-based support for legislation to establish a central registration code for domestic violence and child abuse that would apply to healthcare workers, educators, child and youth care givers, social organizations and judicial authorities.

Arrindell has dubbed her initiative the “Domestic Violence and Child Abuse Central Registration Code.”

The dynamics underlying domestic and family violence are abuse of power in a relationship or after a relationship ended.  The behaviour involves escalating levels of emotional abuse, intimidation, physical abuse and violence to gain or maintain control over the partner.

Women and children are amongst the most vulnerable sections of a community.  Individuals face violence from strangers, family members and others known to them.  Such abuse takes place even at homes and work places, Arrindell said.

The violence may be psychological or physical.  Victims in most cases cannot take recourse to the criminal justice system for a variety of reasons including the fear of social stigma and lack of knowledge about the institutions that could come to their rescue.

The code Arrindell wants to establish would outline the step by step process that should be followed once a complaint has been filed.

The next step is an investigation to gather the details from both parties concerned; institutional review; registration of the abuse; intervention by government institutions; and follow-up care.

“It is a basic human right of all people to feel safe and to not be subject to any form of abuse or violence, whether or not they live alone of in a relationship with someone else. If we become aware that abuse or violence is occurring to someone else, we have a moral obligation to stop it by taking action.  Don’t ignore the violence.  We all have an obligation to act for the safety of others,” Arrindell said yesterday.

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