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Ministry of Gender Relations Wages Campaign Against Threats to Family Life

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Contact: John Emmanuel

Tuesday, November 26, 2002 - Minister of Home Affairs and Gender Relations Honourable Sarah Flood-Beaubrun has been speaking forcefully on the continued mission of her Ministry to stamp out domestic violence, and to wage a campaign against all threats to family life on the island. Speaking at a rally on Monday, November, 25th to mark ‘International Day of Protest Against Violence Against Women and Children,’ Minister Flood-Beaubrun said enough time was spent looking at the symptoms of abuse in all its forms, as opposed to identifying the root cause of the problem.

According to her, “People don’t like to hear me talk about pornography but I will continue to talk about it because these are the fruits of the same tree. If we are talking about violence against women, if we’re talking about respect for family life, we have to speak against strip clubs too as these are fruits of the same tree. The question is, Are we serious? Women of St. Lucia are we talking about simply reducing violence, simply having laws so we put them away? Guest what! The Death Penalty has not stop murders. We have to ensure in St. Lucia that we create the environment for healthy family relationships.”

Minister Flood-Beaubrun said the fight against domestic violence and abuse against women is further compounded by women themselves, who consistently fail to support initiatives aimed at addressing the problem. The lack of turn on the part of women at Monday’s rally she noted was a typical case in point. The Gender Relations Minister also called upon men in society who sympathise and feel passionate against domestic violence and abuse of children, to lend their voices to the struggle.

Meantime President of the National Youth Council Silas Wilson pointed out that the Division of Gender Relations should not be the lone soldier in the fight against the scourge of domestic violence. In light of that Wilson called upon the society in general to speak out vehemently against the illegal practice. “I want to call upon society as a unit to begin to look seriously at the issue of violence and take a serious and decisive and definitive position,” said Wilson.

“I want to commend all the other ladies who are here today in support of violence against women and children, who take a serious stand to ensure that the persons who commit those acts are dealt with. I know that the laws right now are catering for stiffer penalties for those persons but it has to move beyond the law which on its own is just a guide. If persons are not brought to the courts then the law is in effect null and void,” Wilson explained.

Monday’s rally climaxed with a service at the Minor Basilica of the Emasculate Conception in Castries.


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