Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 7th 2017 Contents news A5
Tuesday, February 7, 2017 guardian.co.tt
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Only new mindset can change
A total breakdown in moral or-
der, a culture of male dominance
and aggression and generational
cycles of abuse.
These are some of the reasons
offered by behavioural psychologist
Steve Bailey, T&T Coalition Against
Domestic Violence head Diana Ma-
habir-Wyatt and Single Fathers As-
sociation head Rondel Feeles, for the
increasing violence against women
and widespread violence in general in
T&T,in the wake of the latest killing of
Jamilia DeRevenaux at MovieTowne
on Sunday night due to a domestic
All agree that the only solution is
creation of a new mindset in T&T,
a monumental task that needs re-
Feeles, who is calling for Govern-
ment's intervention in the matter, said
it is upsetting to him that "they are
taking it and playing a gender game
He said men on men and women on
women violence had increased and a
total breakdown in moral order had a
major part to play in it.
"If something propels morality and
you deem it irrelevant, then what's
the opposite, rampant immorality."
Feeles said high stress levels, dys-
functional families and a lack of
emotional intelligence---the ability
to deal intelligently with emotional
situations---are other factors for the
"It's everywhere. From everyone.
Someone gives you a bad drive and
you say, 'I go lick you down.' Some-
body do you something and you say,
'I go mash you up.'"
Bailey believes T&T's culture of
male dominance and aggression
plays a part in increasing reports of
male violence against women. Link
this cultural attitude with alcohol,
cocaine and substance abuse and
you get a ticking time bomb, he said.
He said very often it was found
that abusive men came from abu-
"And it goes on and on," he said.
"The situation is rather in a mess.
We need a whole new rethinking and
it probably needs to come from our
educational system, where a psycho-
logical component can be added to
the school's curriculum.
"People need to learn how to en-
gage with others in a healthy and
The psychologist said, however,
that it's not true the system is biased
in favour of women.
"The services are available to men
as well, it's their attitude to the ser-
vices. Ninety-five per cent of my
clients are women. The men would
come kicking and screaming and only
if the wife threatens to leave him, or
if his company threatens to fire him
because of anger or substance abuse
on the job," he said.
Mahabir-Wyatt meanwhile said
she is not sure what Government can
do to stop men from killing women.
However, the Education Ministry can
play a part by teaching children how to
deal with conflict situations, she said.
It would also be worthwhile to do a
study of men sentenced in domestic
violence cases to find out how many
witnessed domestic violence in their
"It is usually cyclical," she said,
Mahabir-Wyatt said as far as she
knows, the Gender Affairs Division
under the Office of the Prime Minister
has not done anything significant in
the area of domestic violence.
"I don't know of any decision that
was made to assist domestic violence
NGOs. Many of them I spoke to said
they asked but did not get financial
Feeles said he had been begging
both the last and present govern-
ments for assistance but had not
No Govt programmes
Attempts to speak to Gender Af-
fairs Division director Antoinette
Jack-Martin, in the Office of the
Prime Minister, about services of-
fered in the area of domestic violence
were unsuccessful yesterday, as she
was said to be out of office.
A communications officer said
no programmes had started for this
year, but noted there were a number
of programmes last year.
The division's website said part of
its mission statement was to "provide
technical and financial resources to
NGOs to assist them in promotion of
and execution of specific projects and
It said data from the police's Crime
and Problem Analysis (CAPA) branch
revealed there were about 11,441 re-
ports relating to domestic violence
between 2010 and 2015.
"Approximately 75 per cent of
these reports were related to female
individuals. During the same period
there were 131 domestic violence
related deaths of which 56 per cent
It said combined data from the po-
lice and the National Domestic Vio-
lence Hotline reveal approximately 80
per cent of the reports relate to female
Defend them says Bunji
Soca star Ian "Bunji Garlin" Alva-
rez yesterday sent out a "Defend the
Women" challenge to all men in T&T.
In a three minute thirty-five second
video sent via social media in apparent
response to the latest killing of Jamilia
DeRevenaux, Alvarez said T&T's women
are under pressure and being forced to
endure serious problems.
Garlin said most men hide behind so-
cial media platforms, such as Instagram,
Facebook and Twitter, to "bad up women"
but instead those same men need to man
up and defend them.
"We need to teach some of them males
to be men too. Let us defend the women.
Nobody say it is going to be easy, it is sup-
posed to be easy because it's our women,
we have to defend them. If you going out
the road and you see a man roughing up
a woman in the public...soldier rally and
get help, because that woman could die
right there," Alvarez said.
He added that every time "these char-
acters"(referring to men who abuse wom-
en) escape "they are moving closer to your
aunts, niece, mother and all females in your
family...don't wait for this to hit home then
for all to react and it too late. Let us defend
all women now."
Alvarez's video was posted hours after
DeRevenaux was killed just outside her
workplace at MovieTowne,Port-of-Spain,
on Sunday night. (RD)
Sherry DeRevenaux, mother of Jamelia, who was murdered outside her workplace in MovieTowne, seen with
her younger daughter Jemima at the scene on Sunday night. PHOTO: ANISTO ALVES
Angered by the escalating crime
rate, especially domestic-related
murders in the last month, Prime
Minister Dr Keith Rowley last night
called on women to choose their
male companions more wisely.
Rowley was speaking during the first
in a series of 14 Conversations with the
Prime Minister public meetings at the
amphitheatre of the Maloney Shopping
Mall, when he referred to spate of killings
of women in recent times.
With the killing of Jamilia DeReve-
naux at MovieTowne on Sunday night
still fresh on the public's mind, Rowley
first knocked the T&T Police Service for
its lack of urgency in delivering on a better
detection rate to overall crime and mur-
ders in particular.
"If a crime is to be committed, invar-
iably, the police may not know it is to be
committed and more often than not the
police would only know after the crime
has been committed," he said.
Pointing out that approximately one
third of the murders in the last month
were domestic-related issues. The PM
asked what the role of the state/TTPS
was in preventing these sort of crimes.
He said the ill-fated domestic cases
usually end with women in strained or
difficult relationships, forcing the state to
intervene to put a restraining order against
the partner and this has been creating a
basis for violent crimes.
"You called on the Prime Minister to
do something about crime. I am not in
your bedroom, I am not in your choice
of men," he said.
The PM said women have a respon-
sibility to pick those they associate with
wisely and should know when to get out of
a relationship. He said when this happens,
the police must then go the extra mile to
ensure there is detection if the anything
gets out of hand.
"In the absence of detection, those who
would ordinarily be law-abiding have an
incentive to become law breakers," the PM
He also lashed out at the rogue elements
in the police service, saying there must
be a level of intolerance for this type of
behaviour. He said Parliament has given
acting Commissioner of Police Stephen
Williams the authority to manage the
service and he is responsible for rooting
out the rogue elements.
He added, "As Prime Minister, I can-
not dictate to the police how to treat with
citizens. Like you, I too am watching with
anger at some of the things I am seeing. I
have not opened my mouth," Rowley said.
He said the last thing he wants to do is
further demoralise the TTPS.
"When it comes to a situation where the
population fraid police because of their
behaviour, we are going to lose this war."
PM angry at domestic
killings, tells women
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