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Apr 25, 2022

Did the System Fail Two Women Who Were Victims of Domestic Violence?

Michelle Irving

Last Friday, we reported on the murder of Tracy Thompson, a vicious act allegedly perpetrated by her common-law-husband. That was preceded by a similar incident over the Easter weekend. In Placencia Vanessa Reyes was attacked and stabbed, allegedly by a man she had had a relationship with in the past. These are incidents that are all too familiar to many more women who are living in similar situations. Today, we asked the Women’s Development Officer of the Ministry of Human Development, Michelle Irving, if the system has failed women who are caught in these situations and end up being killed.


Michelle Irving, Women’s Development Officer, Ministry of Human Development

“Yes, we may have to concede, based on [the fact that] we see people losing their lives, somewhere along the line, something might have failed them, systems or individuals or inability to seek the necessary support that they may need. So, we can’t sit here and say that all is rosy because we see young women; we see people who are losing their lives, or being disfigured, or having very traumatic experiences. However, we know that we sometimes have to ensure that we seek the necessary guidance and support that we may need. And, sometimes we visit a particular department, and we do not get the answer that we want or we think we should have. I think that people should then continue to seek solutions to their problems, ask someone else, seek other guidance, seek other information. There are women’s development officers that deal with specifically gender-based violence throughout the country. So there is one in all the major towns and city that people can seek assistance, either by information, referral, to just talk to someone about what they may be going through. They may not be so aware of their rights, the laws, how they can get help, so you could just walk into the Ministry and seek that information. If you are not able to do so yourself you could also make a phone call to the Ministry. There is also a hotline that is available that you can call, and there are many resources to support you if you are in any of these difficult situations.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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