In response to questions on the spike in violence, the Prime Minister divided serious crime into one third domestic violence and the rest non-domestic, immediately washing his hands of any accountability for domestic violence, exclaiming: ‘I am not in your bedroom. I am not in your choice of men’. We recall that the Prime Minister fired the Mayor of Port of Spain for victim blaming in relation to gender violence.
The Prime Minister also shed any accountability for other murders by playing the victim card when he declared ‘I dare not open my mouth…. I cannot dictate to the Police or the Judiciary’. He absolved himself of responsibility again and promoted confusion where clarity was most needed. When there is no plan, confusing mixed messages are inevitable. Surprisingly, he attributed no responsibility to the men who kill women.
The Attorney General’s approach to traffic crimes is also sent a confusing mixed message. He emphasized the stream of income that his government will extract in heavy fines. Is the proposed increase in traffic fines designed to reduce road fatalities or to generate income?
The Prime Minister and Attorney General as elected representatives are responsible for public safety. Domestic violence is a crime, a public matter, a social problem. The state’s primary responsibility is to protect all citizens, not pick and choose, not profit from crime.
UNC Women’s Arm supports the call for a retraction of the statement and an apology from the Prime Minister.
For further information, please contact Dr. Catherine Ali, Women Affairs Officer, UNC