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May 20, 2022

B.N.N. Will Call for Legislative Changes to Aggressively Tackle Domestic Violence

Dr. Sharmayne Saunders

Saunders informed that the N.G.O.s will actively seek amendments to current legislation on domestic violence that will more effectively tackle the problem and address it from a holistic point of view.


Dr. Sharmayne Saunders, President, Haven House

“One of those areas is to revisit how the state approaches the domestic violence situation where women can go and request to drop the charges and the case is out the door and the state no longer pursues that. However, under the Criminal Code, you will note that there’s a difference. If there’s a murder or there’s some charge, the state continues to pursue that, so we’re looking at how we can address the penalties or how the justice system can work to help us reduce the domestic violence, there has to be a political will and a level of seriousness in our approach as a society in dealing with domestic violence, so that is essentially our thrust. We have other recommendations looking at batterers’ intervention. That is not unique to our Belizean society.  There was a valid attempt made at trying to address the batterer and their needs. Unfortunately, our organization does not necessarily deal with the batterer. That’s not our intervention, but we recognize that we do have to provide a level support because that is a crucial area that needs to be addressed as well: how will the state address the matter of a batterer, if there’s a batterer’s intervention and dealing with the root causes of the issues of domestic violence.”

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