Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 13th 2018 Contents news A7
Saturday, January 13, 2018
The relatives of a 15-year-old
girl are asking the public to as-
sist them in inding her.
Abby Ramsaroop was last
seen on January 6, in the Penal
According to a post on the
Missing Persons Trinidad and
Tobago Facebook page, "Her
family is desperately trying to
locate Abby. If anyone has any
info on her whereabouts you
are asked to contact 800 TIPS,
555, 999 or the Penal Police
Station at 647 8888."
Single fathers treated unfairly, JSC told
Mothers win in 74 per cent of the
child custody cases in the local
courts, Rhondall Feeles, president
of the Single Fathers' Association,
told a Joint Select Committee
( JSC) on Human Rights, Equality
and Diversity yesterday.
He said men are awarded cus-
tody only in 21 per cent of cases,
while in ive per cent of cases joint
custody is granted.
He added that data from some
50 Family Court cases showed
that the majority of non-custodial
parents are men.
Feeles gave evidence before
the JSC, chaired by Minister of
Community Development, Cul-
ture and the Arts Dr Nyan Gads-
by-Dolly, which was looking into
the inequality faced by single fa-
thers in custody matters, policies
and access to programmes and
He said many single fathers are
unable to access help because the
country's social services seem
more prepared to support moth-
ers than fathers. He gave the case
of a man who was left to take care
of seven children after his wife
died and was told by social ser-
vices personnel he could not ac-
cess grants because only a mother
get such support.
Director of the association Wen-
dell Grant, a single father for the
past 21 years, told the JSC he was
falsely accused of sexually molest-
ing his three children.
"A woman gave the police a
piece of clothing soaked in blood.
My children were taken and phys-
ically examined by a doctor. Even
the boy had his anus examined,"
"The allegations were false
because it was discovered it was
goat's blood. I had to spend hun-
dreds and thousands of dollars for
counselling for my children."
Gadsby-Dolly agreed that data
collection is necessary to inform
issues and influence policies for
"Policies may not speci ically
deal with the issues faced by
single fathers and social service
policies may not be interpreted
to allow single fathers to bene it
from the available grants," she
The minister said there is need
for consultation on a draft gender
policy to clarify the term "single
fathers" and for a parenting pol-
icy speci ically for single fathers
to address their rights and legal
Among the recommendations
made to the JSC was introduction
of an electronic payment system
for maintenance and for action in
cases where mothers do not ad-
here to court rulings on visitation
Abuse victims have
no con idence in TTPS
Victims of domestic violence who
shared their experiences during a
live Facebook session on Thursday
evening said they do not have con-
idence in the T&T Police Service
(TTPS) to protect them and pro-
vide the right information when
they report attacks and threats.
The women were part of a panel
discussion, one of the highlights
of the Enough Iz Enough cam-
paign against all forms of gender
violence hosted by local NGO Is
There Not A Cause (ITNAC).
The discussion was moderated
by Marsha Riley, a T&T Guardian
columnist and host of the CNC3's
One victim, in recounting her
experience of leaving an abusive
relationship, said the process of
getting out and getting protection
from her abuser was dif icult.
"The system is not functioning,
it is very short term," she said,
adding that in her view a protec-
tion order is useless and "just a
piece of paper."
The woman said her one posi-
tive police experience was with a
female of icer who took her into
her home for a week until a safe
house could be found.
Another woman said when she
went to the police for help after
she left her husband, it was more
than a year before of icers fol-
lowed up on her case.
"They could have been coming
to my grave," she said.
A young businesswoman re-
counted how after a particularly
savage beating, during which her
clothes were ripped off, police
of icers were hesitant when she
rushed into a police station half
naked begging for help. It took
the intervention of a pastor to get
them to act on her case, she said.
A suggestion that more female
of icers be assigned to deal with
domestic violence cases was well
received by participants in the
Contacted for comment on the
concerns raised by the women,
TTPS public information of icer
ASP Michael Jackman said there
are Victim Support Units within
every police division to which do-
mestic violence women should be
referred after they make a prelim-
inary report to the police.
There they will be provided
with counselling and advised on
what course of action they should
He said once victims make a full
statement to the police on the inci-
dent and go for medical attention,
the perpetrator will be charged.
Jackman also suggested that
abuse victims apply for a protec-
tion order from the courts and im-
mediately report any breaches to
the police so action can be taken.
Thursday's discussion is one of
a series of activities that will be
taking place under the Enough
Iz Enough banner in the coming
weeks or months.
From Monday to Friday of this
week there was a campaign during
which people were encouraged to
wear black or tie black ribbons to
their cars in support of the call for
an end to domestic violence. This
initiative will be carried out in the
irst week of every month for the
rest of the year.
Eight illegal foreigners were ar-
rested during a police exercise
in Port-of-Spain on Thursday.
Police stopped a van during
a roadblock in the city, near
Besson Street, and detained
eight men, including ive Cu-
bans, two Dominican Repub-
lic nationals, one Colombian.
The men were between 26 to
39 years old.
Police said the men were in
the country illegally and had
been working as construction
workers. They were on their
way back to Maraval where
they have been staying, police
A national wanted on an
outstanding warrant was also
arrested during the exercise
conducted by Ag Insp Lutch-
man, Ag Insp McGuirk, Ag
Cpl McIntosh, PC Edgar and
PC Brathwaite. The foreign-
ers were taken to the Bes-
son Street Police Station and
handed over to of icials from
the Immigration Division.
Moderator Marsha Riley, right, and T&T Guardian editor Suzanne Sheppard, left, leading the panel discussion on
gender violence at the Enough Iz Enough forum in Woodbrook on Thursday evening.
PICTURE ANISTO ALVES
Rhondall Feeles, centre, President at
Single Fathers' Association during
PICTURE COURTESY OFFICE OF THE
Links Archive January 12th 2018 January 14th 2018 Navigation Previous Page Next Page