Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 31st 2014 Contents A7
Thursday, July 31, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
For 2012 to 2013 the second
court of one magisterial dis-
trict in north Trinidad han-
dled 17,748 family and domes-
This resulted in an average
of 72 cases daily, said Minister
in the Ministry of Gender
Youth and Child Development
Raziah Ahmed at a national
consultation on the Domestic
Violence Act 1999, at City
Hall, Port-of-Spain, yester-
For 2012 to 2013 there were
11,382 new cases of domestic
abuse cases filed. This figure
reflected a 2.1 per cent
decrease when compared to
2011 to 2012, Ahmed said.
Giving a breakdown of the
calls, she said for 2012 to 2013
the national domestic hotline
handled 997 new client calls,
of which 767 were from
women and 230 from men.
"For the period January to
June 2014, there were 65 calls,
of which 46 were from females
and 19 from males.
"The national Family Serv-
ices Division dealt with 104
domestic violence cases for
the period October 2013 to
May 2014, inclusive of referrals
from other agencies, call-ins
and walk-ins," Ahmed said.
Saying society was con-
stantly changing, she said it
was the intention of the Gov-
ernment that legislation
should remain relevant and
current and to the people.
She added: "The family is
the most basic unit of society.
We are fully committed to
advancing not only the survival
of the family but the healthy
and happy existence of each
"We are focused on the
improvement of living condi-
tions and empowerment of
parents, youth and children."
Describing yesterday s dis-
cussions as very timely, she
said that was especially so,
given the recent posting on
Facebook of video footage of
a mother beating her son with
Saying domestic abuse took
numerous forms, Ahmed said
those included mental, phys-
ical, sexual, financial, emo-
tional, psychological abuse,
and stalking committed by a
person against a spouse, child
or any other person who is a
member of the household or
"This covers a wide range
of interactions, inclusive of
parent or grandparent and
child---as well as lateral
encounters, such as between
siblings or spouses," Ahamed
Yesterday s consultation was
the first in a series of public
meetings to be hosted
throughout the country to
increase dialogue on negative
behaviours that affect the fam-
ily.Also speaking was Gaietry
Pargass, the ministry s legal
consultant, who spoke about
the act at length.
Some of the children at the St Michael s
Home for Boys have been sent back to
their homes while others are at vacation
Minister in the Ministry of Gender Youth
and Child Development Raziah Ahmed said
so yesterday while fielding questions from
the media after delivering the feature
address at the national consultation on the
Domestic Violence Act.
She said the boys who were sent back
to their homes had been given the green
light to do so.
An investigation into the home was
ordered after 14-year-old Brandon Harg-
reaves died there in April. A report
unearthed several instances of abuse and
financial impropriety at the home.
Ahmed, who said the camp was "pre-
viously envisaged" by the ministry, added:
"They are currently being placed in a dif-
ferent environment with a different set of
individuals who will look after them for
the next few weeks."
She said the ministry was discussing
with the board of St Michael s to form a
memorandum of understanding (MoU) to
foster a proper relationship between the
State and the Anglican Church which owns
Other homes in which there were reports
of abuse were also being looked at, Ahmed
She added: "We had an intervention at
St Jude s. That was a stopgap measure but
we recognise that the entire approach to
what is going on at these institutions is to
"The church really is the owner of these
institutions. The State has been involved
as a giver of subvention and we are looking
at the new business plan that would emerge
out of the discussions that we are having
with each of these institutions."
On weeding out abusers in children s
homes Ahmed said a very clear message
had to be sent.
On the rape of a three-year-old child by
a 17-year-old boy, she said that was another
"unfortunate and tragic fallout" of people
who found themselves in unfortunate cir-
Ahmed added; "A lot of this kind of
activity is perpetrated by people who do
not have an adequate education. They come
from a low-income environment and
sometimes they are so internalised within
their own domestic situation that Gov-
ernment never has an opportunity to inter-
"We have been involved for the past few
months in a mass communication initiative
to try to sensitise newspaper readers, tel-
evision viewers about what constitutes
abuse in the family situation... that will
encourage people to become more con-
scious about what is wrong and right.
On the case of a video showing a boy
being beaten by his mother with a shovel,
Ahmed discouraged people from using
social media to "publicise this kind of pain.
"It is pain not only for the victim but
it is pain for the abuser who simply, some-
times, is not even aware that what they
are doing is wrong," she said. (GK)
JENSEN LA VENDE
Police are renewing their calls for cable bar-
riers to be placed along the Solomon Hochoy
Highway after the death of a family of three in
a car crash on Tuesday afternoon.
In a telephone interview with the T&T
Guardian yesterday, the former head of the traffic
watchdog Arrive Alive, Brent Batson, said the
area where the accident happened had been the
site of four other similar fatal accidents. Batson
is also a Special Reserve Police (SRP) attached
to the Police Road Safety Project.
"We are asking the Ministry of Works to con-
sider higher barriers to prevent crossovers, not
only of light motor vehicles but heavy goods
vehicles as well.
"The continued curbing of preventable
tragedies must be prioritised," Batson said, adding
the existing low concrete divider makes for a
catalyst for vehicles to flip and, as in the case
of Tuesday s accident, land on oncoming vehi-
On Tuesday around 1.45 pm, Nanda Ramcha-
ran, 36, her son, Nyron, 12, and her husband,
Mahadeo, 48, were killed when a garbage truck
landed on top of their car near the Endeavour
Mahadeo was driving south along the highway
when a white Mitsubishi Lancer in the north-
bound lane collided with the garbage truck. The
truck spun out of control, crossed the concrete
median and landed on the Ramcharans car.
Speaking at the weekly police press briefing
yesterday, public information officer of the Police
Service, Insp Wayne Mystar said the driver of
the white car that caused the truck to lose control
passed a breathalyser test.
Asked about the visibility of police along the
highway, he said there was still an individual
responsibility for all drivers to adhere to traffic
"We are not responsible for a driver who at
that time broke the speed limit and as a result
can cause tragedy to take place," Mystar said.
The funeral for the family will be held on Sat-
urday at 10 am at their home at Rochard Road,
Penal, then to the Shore of Peace, Mosquito
Creek, for cremation under Hindu rites.
Their deaths took the accident toll to 91, one
more than the same period last year.
After death of family in road accident...
Cops want more
Minister at national consultation:
72 domestic abuse
cases a day in 2012-13
Legal consultant to the Ministry of Gender, Youth and Child
Development Gaietry Pargass addresses participants during the
ministry's consultation on the Domestic Violence Act at City Hall,
Port-of-Spain, yesterday. PHOTO: MICHEAL BRUCE
WHAT WAS DISCUSSED:
• The definition of domestic
• Who can make orders.
• Relationships that are
• Protection of children.
• Content and effect of a
• Cases in which a court
must make an order.
• Duration of protection
order and interim
Some St Michael's boys get okay to return home
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