Home Letters Urgent national concerted campaign needed to tackle domestic violence
In a recent ruling, Magistrate Peter Hugh of the New Amsterdam Magistrate’s Court levied a fine of $200,000 with an alternative of one year in jail to Troyden Evans called “Tuckey”, 42, who pleaded guilty to a charge of inflicting grievous bodily harm on Rhonda McGarrell with a baton. What message is the justice system sending to abusers by such a slap on the wrist?
The victim in this particular case was subjected to persistent abuse over a period of time at the hands of her abuser. In fact, he was charged in the past with assault, wounding and other offences against the victim. On this occasion, he broke her arm! He beat her mercilessly! He threatened her life; not for the first time!
How does the justice system see this? Imagine being told your life is worth $200,000! Is this some kind of joke? A clear message of zero tolerance to abuse must be sent to abusers.
In fact, while this letter was being written, The Caribbean Voice learnt of a mother of three fighting for her life after being stabbed seven times by her ex-husband. We must not wait until another life is lost before we institutionalise penalties to match the crime in domestic violence cases. Also, we once again call for an urgent national concerted campaign to tackle this scourge. The Caribbean Voice would be willing to be part of such a campaign. We are in the process of finalising a campaign of our own but we strongly believe that multi-stakeholders’ collaboration can get more done for less thereby maximising resource usage and expanding the reach of the campaign.