US Report Cites ‘Significant Problem’ Of Domestic Violence In Saint Lucia

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A US State Department Human Rights report on Saint Lucia says domestic violence was a ‘significant problem.’

The State Department published the report on Tuesday.

It said NGOs reported a surge in domestic violence cases during this country’s mandatory COVID-19 shutdown.

According to the 2020 report, NGOs reported 47 cases of gender-based violence as of October.

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However, the authors of the document disclosed that only three went to trial.

They wrote that the remaining cases were awaiting prosecution.

According to the publishers, NGOs described the judicial system here as being ‘extremely slow’.

Nevertheless, the report observed that  police were willing to arrest offenders.

But it explained that the government prosecuted crimes of violence against women only when the victim pressed charges.

“The Gender Relations Department stated its officers lacked training in trauma-specific interview techniques,” according to the report.

As a result, it negatively affected their evidence-collection skills, the report observed.

The document noted that the law provides penalties for domestic violence ranging from five years to life imprisonment.

And the report noted that the authorities generally enforced the law.

It also said Saint Lucia has made shelters, a hotline, police training, and detailed national policies for managing domestic violence available.

However, the report said victims lacking financial security were often reluctant to remove themselves from abusive environments.

In addition, the report observed that police also faced problems such as a lack of transportation.

As a result, it at times prevented them from responding to calls in a timely manner.

Nevertheless, the US report noted that the Saint Lucia Crisis Center continued to receive monthly government assistance.

As a result, the centre maintained a facility for female victims of domestic violence and their children and a support hotline.

But  the US report  stated that the centre reported that funding was insufficient for all victims seeking assistance.

In addition, it said the Department of Gender Relations operated a residential facility for victims of domestic abuse.

Nevertheless, the report said an NGO reported that the facility could house only five victims at any given time.

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Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
Our Editorial Staff at St. Lucia Times is a team publishing news and other articles to over 200,000 regular monthly readers in Saint Lucia and in over 150 other countries worldwide.

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