Senate president calls for measures against domestic and gender-based violence

(BIS Photo/Patrick Hanna)

From: Bahamas Information Services

Senate President LaShell Adderley has sounded a clarion call for the issue of domestic violence and gender-based violence to be immediately addressed. “We need to cultivate a culture of zero tolerance legislation and policies to combat these issues and create a safer Bahamas irrespective of race, class, creed, sex or socio-economic status,” said the President in a Communication on Monday, February 7, 2022.

The President underscored that she looks forward to presiding over the Domestic Violence Bill that the Hon. Lisa Rahming, Minister of State for Social Services, has indicated is in draft form.

“[It] will bring hope to victims of these horrendous crimes.” Moreover, the President highlighted the need for greater emphasis to be placed on increasing the number of safe houses throughout The Bahamas to protect the vulnerable and at-risk.

“The Government, NGOs, and corporate Bahamas can form a dynamic partnership to raise funding so that victims of abuse can have a temporary safe haven. There needs to be increased numbers of safe houses in the capital and throughout the Family Islands. In doing so, victims who are not comfortable in Nassau can be discreetly transported to another Family Island and vice versa. These safe houses also need adequate funding, security and all other resources required to provide victims with basic needs.”

Furthermore, President Adderley expressed the need for greater and quicker access to accessible, affordable and competent mental/emotional health services, programmes, and counseling for victims and perpetrators.

She also appealed for a crime-fighting strategy to include a “robust” operation to remove illegal guns from the streets.

“Amendment to the current legislation to provide for stiffer penalties and longer imprisonment terms for gun possession and gun related crimes should be considered,” said The President.

“The gunman needs to fear the law with the knowledge that there is a huge price to pay for illegal behavior and actions. We need zero-tolerance now.”