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'Crime Driven By Domestic Violence'

NEW research shows domestic violence is a major driver of country’s crime problems, Social Service Minister Melanie Griffin revealed.

Addressing the premiere of the docudrama “Get Out” at the New Providence Community Centre over the weekend, Mrs Griffin said Bahamians cannot continue to “bury their heads in the sand” when it comes to reporting abuse within the home, as research undertaken by the Bahamas Crisis Centre shows children who are abused become desensitised to violence, and are more likely to carry weapons to school or social events.

“To put it bluntly, many of the young males paraded before the courts today charged with violent crimes and many of the young girls committed for uncontrollable behaviour were themselves likely victims of some type of abuse,” Mrs Griffin said.

“Over the years we have hurt ourselves by ignoring the problem, because studies show that unchecked domestic violence not only escalates, but manifests itself in many other different ways.

“The stark reality is that our crime problem will not be solved if we do not solve the problem of domestic violence.”

Violence within the family, particularly against women and children, has been an “open secret” in the Bahamas for many years, the minister said.

“All too often we have turned a blind eye and a deaf ear to the scars and screams of those who are regularly beaten and by doing so we have, in fact, hurt ourselves.”

She explained that Bahamian law defines domestic violence as physical, sexual, emotional, psychological or financial abuse committed by a person against a spouse, partner, child or any other person who is a member of the household or dependent.

For its part, she said, the government has passed legislation in the form of the Domestic Violence (Protection Orders) Act, 2007 providing legal protection for victims and counselling intervention for perpetrators.

In 2008, changes to the Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Act increased the sentence for the offence of rape to life imprisonment and criminalised voyeurism, sexual harassment and certain forms of pornography, she said.

“Last year the government established a National Task Force on Ending Gender-Based Violence and approved a State Accountability Study to end Violence against Women and Children funded by UNWomen. These two initiatives are designed to co-ordinate the work of all agencies in the fight against violence and to produce a national strategic plan to eliminate gender-based violence.

“The work of the National Child Protection Council and the Child Protection and Urban Renewal Units of the Department of Social Services, as well as our community and school-based programmes are also ongoing.

“We must all realise, however, that no government can do everything. We need the help of every man, woman, boy and girl to fight this onslaught. It is up to you to report the crime of domestic violence just as you would any other crime,” she said.

Mrs Griffin said the filming of the docudrama was a step in “the right direction” as it seeks to raise the level of awareness of the problem and discuss what can be done about it.

“The organisers are commended for bringing the project to fruition and we pray for its success. I thank you,” she said. “The importance of this film cannot be stressed enough as it brings focus to a most pervasive global and national problem, domestic violence.

“I applaud Mr Trevor Clarke, director, and Mrs Patrice Lockhart-Stubbs, executive producer, the production staff of Fujon Media Video and Photography and the actors involved in creating this docudrama for their outstanding work,” Mrs Griffin said.

Comments

ThisIsOurs 3 years, 10 months ago

So if our Social Services minister has access to this study showing the root of crime, and I believe its correct and she is correct, i.e. people who have learned no skills in how to get along with others, who have never been taught much less to love their own lives, why in God's name is Perry Christie embarking on another survey to determine the root of crime?

They said their campaign was one of Bahamianization, but by their fruits ye shall know them, they should have campaigned on mantle, We will Reinvent the Wheel and Promote Inefficiency Wherever we can.

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concernedcitizen 3 years, 10 months ago

As long as we keep whipping the crap out of children under the guise of "spare the rod spoil the child " we will continue to produce violent young adults ..There are too many long term studies ,50 years etc , to show whiipping and slapping the snot out of children produces anti social violent adults ....,vola ,,just what we have

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JohnDoes 3 years, 10 months ago

The thing is Domestic Crime is rampant every where. Domestic crimes are actually the most dangerous crimes a police officer can respond to. This is a fact. @conernedcitizen Parents do take this out of hand but you have to blame the parent, there is nothing wrong with correction/chastisement of your offspring as long as you take the time to teach your children what the right thing to do is and why. Most parents chastise their children without even explaining or teaching them the right thing because there is a lack of concern for the moral development of the child, and those are the children that tend to grow up violent because they are confused and dont know any better. So although I do believe it is wrong to abuse children, their is nothing wrong with chastisement as long as the lesson is learnt in the end.

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concernedcitizen 3 years, 10 months ago

@johndoes There are too many long term studies to even debate the correlation between spanking/hitting/beatings and violence in young adults .Negative/positive repercussions are much more effective at producing rational non violent adults ,,AS i said there are too many studies to even debate beating children and the effect it has on teaching them physical force as a form of conflict resolution ..We need no study here ,we verbally threaten and beat the snot out of kids ,is it producing rational young adults that don,t use physical force for conflict resolution ??

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ThisIsOurs 3 years, 10 months ago

I believe you can spank a child but I don't think it should be the go to course of action for every discipline situation. It's too often done incorrectly and becomes abuse. No different than someone throwing a bottle at you because you made them angry. Parents need to stop hitting their children when they are angry. I can bet you no parent who has a frame of I really love this child right now will take a shoe off and haphazardly whap the child with it. Only an angry person hits out like that. The anger needs to be taken out of punishment.

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concernedcitizen 3 years, 10 months ago

just google corporal punishment and read the studies ,,,,,,between hitting children and the correlation between single mothers/absentee fathers and violent young men ,we don,t stand a chance ,,actually the proof is playing itself out dailey on our streets ,,

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ThisIsOurs 3 years, 10 months ago

Hmmm...I'm almost sure what they mean by "hitting a child" is what I'd term as abuse....that's not what I'm referring to and I don't think its appropriate in all situations and not after certain ages, after 12 what the child hasn't learned from you, they will learn from their associates.if you've trained them well you're their closest associate.

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ThisIsOurs 3 years, 10 months ago

But that would apply to any form of discipline...

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CommonSense 3 years, 10 months ago

These studies haven't used a sample of Bahamians. I was spanked/beaten with a belt as a child and I've turned out quite fine because my parents never beat me without due cause. Honestly, it depends on the child.

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ThisIsOurs 3 years, 10 months ago

I would say it depends on a number of things...the child as you say, the parents, the environment and the manner in which the punishment was given

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blackcat 3 years, 10 months ago

First of all, I can't believe this is being considered "new" research or information. I would say it's been public knowledge for quite some time that violence begets violence and that domestic violence in particular is often, sadly, passed on from generation to generation as a means of conflict resolution.

We have all seen it on the streets, in stores, and virtually everywhere...A parent or sibling beating the crap out of a toddler and the child is totally unaware as to what they are being beaten for. Verbal abuse is just as damaging whether it be between parent and child or spouses / boyfriend/girlfriend.

I was hit as a child and growing up as I'm sure a lot of kids were, but I always knew what I was being scolded for. Even now though, I can't say if I have any kids I would want to go that route . Nevertheless, the LACK of conflict resolution skills and anger management skills are a huge problem in this country. What is worse is how much of a norm domestic violence has become. A young girl/man having been abused, sexually, verbally or physically will often lead to her thinking this is normal and acceptable behavior unless he or she has help and intervention from someone else. Often times this does not happen and the cycle repeats itself. This sort of behavior is not limited to race, religion, economic background etc...All the more reason why we need to admit this problem to ourselves as a country and try our best to redirect and rebuild our youth.

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ThisIsOurs 3 years, 10 months ago

Ergo, why is Perry Christie making a big production out of his "study" being the solution to crime?

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banker 3 years, 10 months ago

I don't believe that domestic violence is the root of the crime problem here in the Bahamas. I believe that it is the result of poorly socialized children growing up in a single parent household, with a poorly socialized, economically-disadvantaged, over-stressed parent. Young single mothers do not have the maturity or cognitive tools to effectively raise children with a moral compass, and an emphasis on education.

The root cause of the crime issue is entirely socio-economic. The church can't fix it, urban renewal can't fix it, no government programme can or will fix it. The social problems stem from the rot of corruption at the top, to the grifters and illegals at the bottom. The education system is broken. The economy is broken. There are no good jobs. The economy is in the toilet. Finco publishes thirty pages of repossessed houses in its inventory. A young man cannot get ahead. The middle class is virtually gone. Unemployment is systematic at over 20% and there are no jobs for between 3,000 and 5,000 school leavers per year who cannot even pass the standardised tests for high school graduates. And that fat-head Melanie says that the root cause of crime is domestic violence?? Suk teet.

I believe the poster here Rory has a point with the ghetto culture here including the music. The poorly socialized young people hold up the rapper Fifty Cent as a role model. His motto is "Git rich or die tryin". Gunplay is part of that culture.

We have lost our way as a country, as a people, and individually as decent human beings. That's because Bahamian society, and the Bahamian government does not treat its people decently. The government has no respect for the people. The people have no respect for themselves then they elect crooks like Shame Gibson and the legion of dark-hearted psychopaths that populate the PLP party. It is not "What hath God wrought" but rather "What have the poor Bahamian people wrought unto themselves". Unfortunately most of our brothers and sisters do not have the discernment, the tools of reason and logic, the high ethical standards, or the enlightenment to see what a mess that the last forty years of Independence has created on our beautiful archipelago in the sun. It is going to get a lot worse before it gets better.

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killemwitdakno 3 years, 10 months ago

"The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated."- Ghandi

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GrassRoot 3 years, 10 months ago

It is a vicious cycle of lack of education, the absence in great parts of social fabric, respect for life, empathy and respect for the other. This is not typical for the Bahamas, it happens in almost all the countries I have visited to some extent. Its the immigrant, its the neighbor, its the government and above all that we forget, this is us. We are in charge and many many times we choose not to do what needs to be done. This has nothing to do with politics, parties, money, color of skin, little with religion and church, where we come from. Its the HUMAN in Humanity, that is what makes us humans. Often the father has run for the hills, or is broken over the inability to provide for the family economically, the mothers are left with the kids and everything else, the young men chase after the wrong gods and praise the wrong heroes. The girls want to be women when they are still children. It us, if we all start fixing this today rather than starting tomorrow, it will get fixed sooner. Its work, not a law, not a hanging, not a beating or killing that fixes this. Its the good in us, and let us just put good in everything and anything we do.

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banker 3 years, 10 months ago

You are forgetting the Economic part of the equation. Bahamians do not and cannot fully participate in the economy. The pillars of the economy (tourism and banking) are foreign-owned and will always be foreign managed. Bahamians do not have access to business capital for several reasons, including the fact that we have a closed, non-convertible currency. The Central Bank limits conversion. This precludes foreign investment in small businesses. There are no merchant banks helping Bahamian businesses. The loan portfolios of the only true Bahamian bank (BOB) are polluted by non-performing loans to PLP sycophants.

A young man cannot start a business on a shoestring and get rich. It is impossible to get a business licence with the archaic rules and procedures. And the capital input is immense.

With the economy stacked against Bahamians there is nothing to do but grift and try to make money any way you can. With nothing left, and no skills, and a lack of literacy, there is only crime.

Ninety percent of the crime would go away if the economy was diversified and people had jobs that allowed them to live with dignity. One of the biggest success stories in the region, is the creation of the high tech sector in Jamaica. It is so successful, that ScotiaBank Bahamas sent its call center business there. The rise of that sector was as a result of the vision of the government to creatively fund it. That doesn't happen here because of the massive corruption in the government and the governing party.

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