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Victims soon to file complaints online

Victims soon to file complaints online

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It is only a matter of time before domestic violence victims can file their complaints online via the Government Intranet site. This is according to Magistrate Sharon Morris-Cummings, president of the Family Court as she spoke to the SEARCHLIGHT recently.

Responding to a recent Dear Pastor article where a victim of domestic violence sought advice from columnist Pastor Kirby Jackson, Morris-Cummings reiterated the importance of reporting such situations to the Family Court. {{more}}

She said victims needed to be reminded that in the Family Court they have an avenue for legal intervention and counselling.

Reiterating the full scope of the service offered by the Family Court, she stressed the Court’s counselling arm as she indicated that efforts are made to salvage families. The need was also expressed for a closer working alliance between the Court and the religious arm of society.

According to Morris-Cummings, the idea of making the application forms available online is aimed at making it easier for someone living in such situations to have a way out. Though the process will require legislative actions to enable its finality, the magistrate doesn’t see a problem in getting it done: “We are already working with the Information Technology Unit to make this a reality.”

Officials at the Family Court continue to be concerned about the gravity of the domestic violence problem. “Domestic violence is still very prevalent and a lot goes unreported” stated Morris-Cummings.

Another plan that could be put in place soon, if Morris-Cummings had her way, would be the establishment of social workers attached to communities with the aim of identifying at risk families. “These social workers would act on reports or if they themselves witness anything that may point to the possibility of domestic violence,” she said.

Morris-Cummings believes that such workers can be a proactive force in the fight against domestic violence, as they visit homes or make calls to find out if every thing is okay in the suspected homes.

The classification of high-risk families, she said, can also be ascertained from children’s appearance and conduct in schools.

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