Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis the Hon. Dr. Timothy Harris has condemned violence against women and children in the wake of the two sisters that we brutally slain in Keys two weeks ago.
Dr. Harris at his monthly press conference indicated that while he condemns violence in any form, violence against women and children is unacceptable in any form.
“While there are many good things happening such as the breaking of the glass ceiling by our women, we are dismayed by the cruel hand of violence exercised against our womenfolk.
“To be clear the government condemns violence in all its forms, but we maintain that violence against women and children is most reprehensible and egregious,” Dr. said. Harris
“The Prime Minister also announced that the government will look into amending the Domestic Violence Act and bring the of legislation into effect.
“I wish to announce that the cabinet is presently reviewing the amendments to the draft domestic and sexual violence and response protocol. Which has been the subject of several years consultations among key stakeholders.
” This document has again been updated with support from the legal department and the Magistracy to include among other matters privacy of victims of violence when making official statements to the police and in court,” The Prime Minister disclosed.
He said when the legislation approved it will serve as the functional guide to key personnel in the police, healthcare workers and the staff of the Department of Gender Affairs “who must work as a team to respond to victims of domestic and sexual violence, and in the process, provide places of safety for victims and their families.”
He continued, “Following cabinet’s approval of the draft protocol, the next step is the passage of the domestic violence act. Our parliamentary records indicate that although the act that had three readings in parliament it was never gazetted and therefore could not be implemented. Regulations would have to be drafted to give effect to the protocol as per section 48 of the said act.”
PM Harris disclosed that the state will pay the full cost of the funeral of the two sisters Jemelia and Naomi Finch who were brutally slain two weeks ago in Keys.
“I have personally met with their mother Desiree Finch and prayed with and for her and her relatives. I want to appeal to all to eschew violence and to show greater compassion to and tolerance for one another.
“My government has offered tangible support to the family of the victims. The state through the ministries of National Security and Gender Affairs will bear the cost of the funeral expenses for the two sisters. Additionally, we have been providing counselling support to the family members,” said the Prime Minister.