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NDP to form sexual, domestic abuse complaints unit if it wins election – Eustace

NDP to form sexual, domestic abuse  complaints unit if it  wins election – Eustace

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If the New Democratic Party (NDP) wins the next general elections, soon after, a special unit will be formed within the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) to address complaints of domestic and sexual violence.

This special unit will not only be staffed by trained female and male {{more}} police officers, but also with consulting doctors,social workers and counsellors with specific training and facilities to address complaints of a domestic and sexual nature.

That’s the aim of President of the New Democratic Party (NDP) Arnhim Eustace who spoke about the proposed CID unit yesterday during a panel discussion held at Democrat House at Richmond Hill.

Eustace, addressing the ‘Role of Government in the Advancement of a Women’s Agenda’ and the’ Elimination of Violence against Women’ said that by building upon its past successes, secured through women’s direction of women’s affairs, the incoming NDP administration will “get out of women’s way” by reforming sections of the police force, among other things.

He said that reform will be undertaken, by training all police officers, especially in district police stations, to address domestic violence and rape allegations.

He added that it will be made mandatory that all allegations of abuse be recorded and acted upon, while CID officers and officers at district police stations will be given templates on how an interview should be conducted.

The Opposition Leader said that victims will be given advice, while follow-ups on domestic violence and sexual violence complaints would also be made mandatory.

Among the reforms, Eustace stressed that the Government would make sure that the new structure will have a female officer present at all times, at all police stations, to receive information or be physically present at the receipt of complaints of sexual violence.

“Revising and broadening the police training manual to include training for all police recruits in domestic violence and human trafficking and implementing the mandatory use of rape kits in medical examinations of rape victims at all district clinics and hospitals,” are among some of the new initiatives to be implemented by the NDP, said Eustace.

He stressed also that specific attention will be paid on reviewing the functioning of the Family Court and all legislation connected with domestic violence and violence against women to, “among other things, increase the power of the Family Court to include the imposition of criminal sanctions for domestic abuse.”

The Opposition Leader is also hoping for the passing of legislation to criminalize sexual harassment and to make it illegal for a husband to rape his wife. He is also hoping for the amendment of existing legislation by removing the requirement for the victim to bring evidence to sustain a criminal charge against men who commit statutory rape, “making mandatory the reporting by all medical personnel of births to minors at hospitals and clinics or wherever that birth may take place.”

Addressing the room full

of women at the panel discussion, Eustace also spoke about implementing the collection of data relative to domestic violence and violence against women and the dissemination of that information to the public.

“We will look into instituting and enforcing a code of conduct within the public service at all levels that provides for protocol on reporting sexual offences, including sexual harassment in the workplace.

“Respect for the women and girls in our society must be a part of how this government conducts itself,” stressed Eustace, who also added that the NDP must set the example by, among other things, implementing the Social and Spiritual Redemption Charter to provide women and children with proactive opportunities at the community level.

The next general elections in St Vincent and the Grenadines must be held no later than March 2016.

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