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SVG highest female homicide rate in OECS

SVG highest female homicide rate in OECS

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by Peter Marshall Fri, Jul 15, 2011

A report coming out of the first Regional Colloquium of Women Leaders as Agents of Change has placed St. Vincent and the Grenadines as the OECS state with the most female homicides{{more}} motivated by intimate partner violence during 2000-2011.

The figures, which led to this unenviable accolade, were disclosed during a presentation at the conference by Yasmin Solitahe Odlum of the Inter American Commission of Women, entitled ‘Gender, Citizen Security and the Anglophone Caribbean 2000-2011’.

In the report, provided to SEARCHLIGHT by Odlum, figures pertaining to female homicides in the OECS and the wider Caribbean were detailed. According to the report, St. Vincent and the Grenadines recorded a total of 43 homicides during the period. SEARCHLIGHT, through our own research, using our newspaper archives and police reports, was able to identify 45 female homicides during this period.

Of the 45 female homicides, 17 were motivated by domestic disputes, making St. Vincent and the Grenadines the leader in this category in the OECS. Dominica comes in a distant second, with 11 homicides motivated by domestic disputes. St. Lucia and Antigua each recorded 8 such cases, while, for the same time period, Grenada recorded 7 and St. Kitts 5, according to the report. It must be noted that 2 of the domestic disputes in Dominica were cases of mothers killing daughters and not intimate partner violence. All 17 in the case of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, were as a result of intimate partner violence.

Odlum told SEARCHLIGHT that the figures were each countries’ official national statistics and the figures for St. Vincent and the Grenadines had been prepared for the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) Gender Equality Observatory of Latin American and the Caribbean.

While SEARCHLIGHT was unable at press time ascertain the total number of female homicides from the other OECS countries and a more precise breakdown of the killings in those countries, the report prompted a closer examination of female homicides in St. Vincent and the Grenadines for the said time period.

Of the 45 general female homicides, 17 stemmed from intimate partner violence; 8 involved rape or some other form of female directed aggression; 6 from vehicular accidents, 4 were drug/gang related, 3 were from other family disputes and the remainder from unconfirmed causes.

This puts the percentage of female homicides perpetrated by a lover or spouse at 37 per cent, which is greater than that of Trinidad and Tobago which stands at 30 per cent, this latter figure again according to the Odlum report.

Of the years researched by SEARCHLIGHT, 2007 stands in ignominy as the bloodiest year with ten homicides of women, eight of which were committed by a male lover or spouse. Of the female homicides committed by confirmed perpetrators, only one was carried out by another woman.

The Inter-American Commission of Women which Odlum represents, is a division of the Organization of American States. Her report was presented on June 29, 2011, in Trinidad and Tobago to an audience comprising female leaders from across the region. (l see Midweek Searchlight on Tuesday, July 19 for an analysis of the section of the report which deals Rape and Sexual Assault in the Caribbean).

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