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PLOTT: ‘More aggressive and holistic approach’ needed to address violence against women and children

“[…] While we recognise the gains made with amendments to The Domestic Violence Act and the establishment of a Gender-based Violence Unit in the TTPS, the continuing scourge of violence against women and children requires a more aggressive and holistic approach from those in authority.

“We are reminded that the National Strategic Plan on gender-based and sexual violence has not been adopted six years after its formulation…”

The following press statement on increased violence against women in Trinidad and Tobago was submitted to Wired868 by The Powerful Ladies of Trinidad and Tobago (PLOTT):

Photo: PLOTT wants a more aggressive approach in dealing with violence against women and children.

As we approach the close of 2020, The Powerful Ladies of Trinidad and Tobago (PLOTT) joins others in the national community in expressing grave concern about the 46 women murdered to date, with more than half of them being victims of domestic violence.

PLOTT notes the vociferous outcry from many quarters, urging the authorities to implement the legalisation of self-defence weapons (pepper sprays) and the regularisation and/or banning of PH taxis. There is also now more advocacy for women to apply for firearms to defend themselves.

PLOTT supports all reasonable measures to help women safeguard themselves but cautions that these alone will not be sufficient to deal with the systemic issues of violence.

While we recognise the gains made with amendments to The Domestic Violence Act and the establishment of a Gender-based Violence Unit in the TTPS, the continuing scourge of violence against women and children requires a more aggressive and holistic approach from those in authority.

We are reminded that the National Strategic Plan on gender-based and sexual violence has not been adopted six years after its formulation. We believe that a comprehensive and coordinated plan must be aggressively advanced.

Image: The cycle of violence.

PLOTT therefore calls upon all branches of government—executive, legislative and judiciary—to treat urgently with a number of measures already proposed.

These include the following:

  1. More effective policing and more efficient court systems;
  2. Wider availability of user-friendly support systems and services for victims;
  3. Increased support for NGOs and civil society organisations which address issues of domestic violence/gender-based violence;
  4. Introduction of more programmes for perpetrators;
  5. Consultation on legislation to regulate the use of self-defence weapons like pepper sprays;
  6. Regulations to register and track PH Drivers.

PLOTT wishes to recognise and support the work of organisations such as the Coalition Against Domestic Violence (CADV), Womantra and others, which work tirelessly to keep these issues on the front burner.

We also urge employers and others in the private sector to adopt the Domestic Violence Workplace Policy of the Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Commerce. It is every woman’s right to live a life free of fear and violence and so we must all work to change the narrative about domestic violence.

Photo: Netanya Mohamdally’s de­compos­ing body was found in a ravine at Ex­change Lots, Cou­va on 23 March 2019.
Her hands and feet were tied to­geth­er with rope, her head was bashed in and an au­top­sy re­vealed she died of chop wounds to the neck.
She was 17.

PLOTT is committed to work with the relevant authorities to keep not only our women safe, but all citizens of Trinidad and Tobago.

Editor’s Note: PLOTT was founded on 25 November 2011 and comprises of women who have either owned and operated their own businesses or have been part of an executive leadership team. Its directors are: Josanne Leonard, Marcia Hope, Tracy Farrag, Stacy Roopnarine, Charu Lochan, and Dass Kristal Harford.

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