The Vulnerable Persons Team (VPT) of the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force (RSLPF) plans to raise gender-based violence awareness through a walk on Sunday.
“Join us for a meaningful walk to raise awareness and show your support for survivors,” a social media flyer stated.
The walk will start at 6:00 a.m. at the Central police station and end at the Babonneau police station.
Raise Your Voice Saint Lucia Inc., the mission of which is ‘to empower women and children victims of domestic violence in Saint Lucia by providing them the social and economic skills necessary to help them reach their fullest potential’, has welcomed the event.
“My thoughts are that finally, the government departments have realised their mandate,” President Catherine Sealys told St. Lucia Times.
She explained that the police VPT is responsible for investigating, pressing charges against, and prosecuting people for child sexual abuse and domestic and gender-based violence.
Sealys explained that gender-based violence generally constitutes violence against men, women, boys, or girls.
She said the VPT Unit may have realised its mandate goes beyond investigating, charging, and prosecuting individuals and includes raising awareness.
“I think that is commendable,” the Raise Your Voice Saint Lucia Inc. President told St. Lucia Times.
Sealys said the VPT does a lot of work despite limited resources.
“They punch way above their weight,” she declared, adding that the police Unit is doing a good job of raising awareness, investigating, and ensuring guilty people are held accountable.
The Raise Your Voice Saint Lucia official felt the VPT organized Sunday’s march, recognising that sexual abuse of children, domestic violence, rape, and sexual assault are at an all-time high.
Sealys disclosed that based on her organisation’s data, sexual abuse of children and domestic violence are at an all-time high.
“I speak from data we collect from the work that we do,” she explained.
Sealys expressed that reporting incidents is also on the rise.
“People now are beginning to understand that there is protection for them under the new Domestic Violence Act, so they are reporting. But domestic violence has never been low in Saint Lucia,” she said.