Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 13th 2014 Contents GEISHA KOWLESSAR
Head of the Victims and Witness Sup-
port Unit of the Police Service Margaret
Sampson-Browne yesterday told a har-
rowing story of a young housewife and
mother who was subjected to such extreme
domestic violence by her husband, that
she even had to ask him permission leave
to the bathroom.
The woman, who lived in south Trinidad,
was recently rescued by the police, she said.
Sampson-Brown was speaking at the
launch of a programme titled Integrating
Gender-based Violence Services with Sexual
and Reproductive Health Services for Young
People, at the Hyatt Regency, Port-of-Spain.
The former assistant commissioner said
somehow, the police found the woman and
"literally rescued her through the back door."
"The victim in this case...she was expe-
riencing a severe domestic violence situation.
So severe that she has to even ask permission
to come from the bathroom of her house
to come into the living room," Sampson-
Browne told the forum.
"She is in prison because she cannot even
speak to her loved ones or her friends. If
she speaks it is when the perpetrator is out
of hearing or sight and she has to delete
the number on the phone because when he
comes back he will check it."
"After years and years of abuse we were
able to remove that woman from the
home...we had to actually pass her through
a back door."
In response to the woman s actions, the
perpetrator went to the magistrate s court
and applied for access to his children. The
woman, who is in her 30s and who Browne
said "has been married for a long time," is
now in a safe house.
She added, however, that the perpetrator
had the intention of getting back at the
"And we know that all he wants is to
draw her out in the open, because it is the
first time in his life that he is losing control
and she is saying to him, I have had enough.
"She was so scared that she can t even
come to the court to apply for a protection
order. We applied for a protection order on
her behalf. So when he believes she is coming
to court to get access, she is coming to court
to tell the magistrate she does not want him
in her life," Sampson-Browne added.
She said it was only because there were
dedicated people working with the victim
that she could now enjoy sleep.
To save lives, Sampson-Browne said,
sometimes required out-of-the box thinking,
even on the part of the police.
"Women and children are dying at the
hands of perpetrators who purport to love
them," she said.
She said so far this year, nine women had
lost their lives to domestic violence. She
said last year, 2,013 victims of domestic
violence sought the help of the unit, while
200 victims had already sought their support
so far this year.
Sampson-Browne said the unit was now
preparing to go on an education drive to
get the public on board.
Also speaking at the forum, Roger
McLean, first vice-president of the Family
Planning Association (FPA), said one in three
women in T&T suffered some form of
domestic abuse, including being beaten and
coerced into sex.
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Members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans-
gender community (LGBT) have been coming out
in greater numbers to report and speak out against
And head of the Victims and Witness Support
Unit of the Police Service Margaret Sampson-
Browne is calling on the police to be more com-
passionate towards LGBT citizens and to take their
She made the comment at the launch of a pro-
gramme titled, Integrating Gender-based Violence
Services with Sexual and Reproductive Health Serv-
ices for Young People, at the Hyatt Regency, Port-
Sampson-Browne said while there were many
cases which still went unreported by the LGBT
community for fear of ridicule and stigmatisation,
some homosexuals and lesbians were finding the
courage to make reports. She said the unit had two
such reports last year and none for this year to date.
"Violence is violence perpetrated by anybody.
Whether it is same sex, opposite sex, adults or chil-
dren we have to deal with it and leave all the emo-
Saying training was critical for the police, she
said there was "some level" of training but this was
"We need to train our investigators to address
situations like that so that people can feel com-
fortable knowing that they exist in a domestic-vio-
lence situation and they could come to the police
and get a response," she said.
She said there have also been more reports of
men being physically and emotionally battered by
their wives. (GK)
Thursday, February 13, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Cops 'slip' abused
woman out backdoor
The programme is funded by the
Canada Fund for local initiatives of the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Trade and
Development, which donated
Through the initiative, the FPA will be
able to extend its youth clinic, "D Living
Room," by offering additional services,
including gender-based violence screeing,
counselling and referral services.
Among the non-governmental
agencies signing a protocol aimed at
greater collaboration were the Rape
Crisis Society, Families in Action, Family
Planning Association, the Victims and
Witness Support Unit and the Coalition
against Domestic Violence.
Manager of the Victim and Witness Support Unit Margaret Sampson-Brown signs the
protocol for Interagency Collaboration for the Prevention of and Response of Gender
Based Violence in T&T, as Elizabeth Spence (Family In Action), left, Natalie O'Brady (Rape
Crises Unit), second from left, and Donna Martinez (APATT) look on during yesterday's
event. In back row are Roger McLean (FPATT), Myrtle Ward (APATT), Canadian High
Commissioner Gerard Latulippe and Grace Telma (APATT). PHOTO: SHIRLEY BAHADUR
ABOUT THE PROGRAMME
Guardian Media Ltd takes a very special joy in
partnering with Canboulay Productions to honour
the world s most eminent calypsonian, the Mighty
The Guardian and Sparrow have had a long and
intriguing relationship that goes right back to the
beginning of his career in calypso. It has had many,
many twists and turns and even been immortalised
in his tongue-in-cheek calypso Thanks to the
Last night, GML s general manager, marketing,
Cyntra Achong presented Sparrow with the first
copy of a special tribute publication at the launch
of the lecture/performance series titled My Whole
Life in Calypso at which Prof Gordon Rohlehr was
the feature speaker. This tribute says it all on the
cover: For Sparrow, with love.
Today, the T&T Guardian takes pride in providing
our readers with an exclusive copy of this collector s
edition of a Tribute to the Mighty Sparrow, which
is being published to mark the start of the five-part
Guardian Media Ltd, through the T&T Guardian,
CT Vibe 105.1fm and CNC3, is the exclusive media
partner for the series. CTVibe 105.1fm will be carrying
the lectures live for those who are unable to attend.
For Sparrow, with love
cases of violence
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