Minister Carlos Reed, Opposition leader Michael Pintard, Minister of state for Social service Lisa Rahming, and wife of the Prime minister Ann-Marie Davis pictured with family of murder victims.
Photos: Austin Fernander
By LETRE SWEETING
LOCAL advocacy group Families of All Murder Victims yesterday honoured the families’ 20 victims, with the day being proclaimed FOAM Day after a ten-year fight by the group’s founder.
The event was held at FOAM’s Alexandria Boulevard headquarters yesterday.
Khandi Gibson, founder of FOAM, said yesterday has been a long time coming and she hopes to see more done for the families of murder victims.
“It has taken 10 years plus. I want to offer condolences to everyone who lost a loved one. FOAM doesn’t judge anyone. Our mandate is the children. As we move forward we want to make these children get counselling,” she said.
“My next step is I want to see some amendments done especially with National Insurance (Board). Once a person is killed in this country and they don’t have sufficient contributions at NIB, their children don’t qualify for anything and that’s very sad. Why does National Insurance think it’s ok for them to keep that?” Ms Gibson said.
Several officials were present at the event yesterday, including Ann Marie Davis, wife of Prime Minister Philip “Brave” Davis, who gave a few suggestions on how the families of murder victims can be further assisted.
“(A lack of) resolution of conflicts is one of our biggest problems that we have, not only here in The Bahamas, but in Latin America and the whole Caribbean,” she said.
“I think information on police, what they’re doing to solve the crime, and information on the court proceedings for these matters should be made more readily available to families, don’t you think? Also we should have court accompaniment by counsellors at the court proceedings,” Mrs Davis said.
“And then how about assistance in obtaining protection orders? Assistance in filing for victim’s compensation. Do we have this here in this country? No. But this can help with the pain and grief. We can have a system where the perpetrator should pay the victim’s family,” she said.
“More referrals to other agencies for additional services such as emergency food, shelter, home repairs, etc. Listen, I think we have a tremendous shortage of shelters, but I’m working on that, okay,” Mrs Davis continued.
“And there should be some sort of assistance in registering for victim notification,” she said.
State Minister for Social Services and Urban Development Lisa Rahming said assisting vulnerable families is the job of everyone.
“It has to be all of our business. The same thing I want for my child, I want you to know, I want that for your child,” Ms Rahming said.
“Every one of us (should) commit to sponsor a child in any way that you can, who has lost a parent. Commit to ensuring that the child attends church regularly. Commit to ensuring that they get proper counselling to deal with their grief. Commit to being a mentor for at least one child,” she said.
Those honoured at the event yesterday include families of the following: Anthro and Khanaochi Knowles, Leonardo Black, Shande Cartwright, Jeffonya Rolle and Tekoyo McKinney, Gloria Collie Grant, Akio Francis, Alexander Hepburn and Ishmael Forbes, Brandon Russell, Myron Gelin and James Cartwright, Ednique Wallace, Kyhiliee Chamar Wallace, Alfred Renaldo Munnings, Tadasha Brittany Morgan Rears, Osworth Rashad Rolle, Quinton McKenzie, Reyes Williams, Steffen Rolle, Keion Butler and Shavonya Adderley, Rinardo Brown and Carlosn Taylor, Gloria Gala Rolle, Heavenly Terveus, Arthur Devon Culmer, Cleo Patrice Major-Lockhart, and Kenrica Martin.