Saint Lucia’s External Affairs Minister Sarah Flood-Beaubrun, asserting that domestic violence is a very complex problem, has told reporters here that there is no ‘quick fix’ for it.
“It is something that we have been working on for many years – not just here in Saint Lucia but worldwide,” Flood-Beaubrun observed.
“The question people always ask is: ‘Why don’t women leave?'” The minister noted.
She declared that it was not an easy fix as there are lots of reasons why individuals perpetrate violence and persons come to accept it.
“It’s a complex problem and it is something that needs to be addressed not just from the point of view of the victim, but also the perpetrator,” she stated.
Flood-Beaubrun urged continued support for victims who want to leave a domestic violence environment but certain considerations prevent them.
“The first question ‘Where am I going to go?’ Second question: ‘How will I cope?’ Third question: ‘What about my children? What will people say? Will I have the support?'”
According to the minister, the response to domestic violence cannot be limited to family and friends but needs the community and the nation to support victims.
She also advocated help for perpetrators, pointing out that many were victims of violence themselves and repeat the behaviour of which they were victims.
“It’s a complex problem that we continue to deal with and of course, the whole question of society’s lack of tolerance of it,” the minister told reporters.
She stressed that the police must have the resources to prosecute and convict perpetrators, who in turn need to get the help they need.
“The punishment, but also the help. We have to ask ourselves ‘Well, what causes this type of behaviour? What causes this type of crime? So it is a complex problem for which there is no one quick and easy solution; but we must continue to make people aware that it is unacceptable,” the minister explained.
She declared that all agencies must continue to show zero tolerance towards domestic violence.