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Domestic violence in SVG, region a worry – US official

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Domestic violence in St Vincent and the Grenadines, and by extension those committed across the Eastern Caribbean, is an area of concern to the United States government.{{more}}

Christopher Sandrolini, Charge d’Affaires at the United States Embassy in Bridgetown, Barbados, which serves the Eastern Caribbean region, in an exclusive interview with SEARCHLIGHT on Friday, March 23, said that US officials were of the view that this was one area of society that needed to be modernized.

It seemed that there were certain attitudes towards women which according to the US official may be discriminatory.

“The laws to protect men and women are alike, but in practice, it’s tolerated if someone beats up a woman,” Sandrolini said.

“These are questions from actual practices in society,” he said, adding that the concern came from what people throughout the region were saying.

David Lewis, Foreign Service Officer at the United States Embassy in Bridgetown, Barbados, said that there was a mandate to report back to the US on issues such as domestic violence.

According to Lewis, the rape and killing of 78-year-old Marion John of Richmond, which occurred in September 2011, and the shooting death of 19-year-old Alvisha Browne, mother of three of Ottley Hall, which occurred in January this year, were of particular concern to the US officials.

“And for such a small island, it is a concern to the US government, this sort of violence,” Lewis told SEARCHLIGHT.

The issue of domestic violence in St. Vincent and the Grenadines was recently highlighted in North America after it surfaced in the Canadian press.

According to the article, which appeared in the Toronto Star back in November 2011, the number of women seeking refugee asylum in Canada had drastically increased and the reason was that acts of violence being committed against women were increasing. (DD)

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