Call made for “bystander activism” to help with domestic violence

Call made for “bystander activism” to help with domestic violence

The police can only do so much as it relates to domestic violence.

And as such, Independent Senator and psychiatrist Dr Varma Deyalsingh is calling for “bystander activism,” for people to get on board and call in offences they witness.

Deyalsingh made the statement following Wednesday’s murder/suicide in Port of Spain.
Sherian Huggins, 29, was chopped to death by a male relative, who was later found dead.

One of Huggins’ children, whose father was killed by the police some time before, reportedly witnessed his mother’s death as he tried to save her.

Deyalsingh said “These killings affect our national psyche.
“While some may seem numb to the killings it brings a fear factor to others, a sense of depressing news added to our already difficult times.”

He said it was sad that her four children have been left parentless in such a disturbing manner.
“These poor children would need years of counselling and support. We have to think of the effects on these children and get involved.”

“The police officers need to see gender-based violence as a serious issue. While not wanting to engage in domestic squabbles, they need to be cognisant that persons in society are on edge,” Deyalsingh said.

He noted that most women are abused 35 times before they make a report, and when they finally do so, help must be given in a timely manner and the perpetrator or victim and children removed, because most domestic-abuse victims meet their death when finally trying to leave home.

He called for support from the Ministry of Health, mental health and wellness clinics and the Ministry of Social and Family Development counselling services to attract more people to come in for relationship counselling.

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