Basseterre, St. Kitts, June 13, 2019 (SKNIS): Several persons from across various government ministries and departments, legal and medical practitioners, as well as civil society, in St. Kitts and Nevis, attended a Domestic and Sexual Violence Complaints and Response (DSVCR) Protocol Implementation workshop aimed at dealing with domestic and sexual violence issues in the Federation.
The June 13 workshop, which was held at the Solid Waste Management Corporation Conference Room, was organized by the Department of Gender Affairs.
Sharon Warner, Executive Officer in the Department of Gender Affairs welcomed participants and outlined the aim of the protocol.
“The purpose of the Domestic and Sexual Violence Protocol is to document key organizations in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis that provide services to survivors and complainants of domestic and sexual violence. The protocol clearly outlines the role of these organizations in dealing with victims of domestic and sexual violence,” said Ms. Warner. “Your presence here this morning speaks to the support for the work of the Department of Gender Affairs and for this we are truly grateful. The department has committed itself to undertake several programmes which are designed to promote gender equality.”
Ms. Warner noted that in order to address the growing issue of domestic violence in St. Kitts and Nevis the government has taken a number of measures. One such measure was the enactment of the Domestic Violence Act of 2000, which made provision for the protection of any person subjected to domestic violence, and to provide for related or incidental matters. The Act was amended in 2005, with further revision in 2014. Additionally, a legal aid clinic was established in 2005 to provide legal assistance to victims of domestic and sexual abuse. Social assistance and counselling services were made available, and the DSVCR Protocol was developed.
“On March 26, 2018, the Domestic and Sexual Violence Complaints and Response Protocol was resubmitted for Cabinet’s approval and was launched on November 2018,” she said.