Look to homes, communities to tackle domestic violence — police federation head

Look to homes, communities to tackle domestic violence — police federation head

BY JONATHAN MORRISON
Observer writer
editorial@jamaicaobserver.com

Monday, February 17, 2020

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PORUS, Manchester — Jamaica Police Federation Chairman Detective Sergeant Patrae Rowe has added his voice to the quest for solutions to the country's increasing incidence of deadly domestic violence in which women are the main victims.

Addressing members of the Porus Primary School Parenting Club at a pre-Valentine's Day tea party at the school last Thursday, Rowe told his audience of mostly women that the problem must be tackled long before it happens.

Rowe disclosed that as of February 7, there had been 137 murders in Jamaica since the start of the year, which he said represented an 8.7 per cent increase over the same period last year. Fifteen women were among the victims, he reported.

In fact, Rowe said that a 2018 survey had 15 per cent of females between ages 15 to 45 experiencing non-lethal violence at the hands of males to include: pushing and shoving, slapping, punching, and throwing missiles at females during domestic disputes.

Of the six murders in Manchester since the start of the year, one incident was a double murder in which two women were shot dead in Mandeville, reportedly in their sleep.

In the meantime, the federation chairman said that far too many women are unwilling to report their abusive partners to the police and, when arrests are made, the victims, even if they reluctantly give a statement to the police, abort the court proceedings by either not turning up, refusing to testify, or asking for the withdrawal of the complaint.

Rowe suggested that the potential adult domestic violence producer is likely to have begun as a child in a home setting. Therefore, he suggested that the first place to look in order to effect proactive measures against violent tendencies and situations would be in the home, and then the wider community.

In the home, he said, one would need to examine what was happening there in terms of the quality of parenting or the absence of parenting. In the wider community, the detective sergeant asserted that the focus would be on the role that school and church were playing in the socialisation of children.

Each of these institutions, he said, is important in the upbringing of children, but the home was where parenting begins.

“Some parents want their children to be their friends... so they compromise. But children want you to be parents and not their friends, for they need your guidance,” he stressed.

Drawing on his own experience as a policeman of 14 years, he said it was not unusual for youth who find themselves on the wrong side of the law to tell the police that their parents did not do enough to keep them in line.

He said there have been children in police custody who said they “didn't get enough beating” or that they were not sufficiently monitored.

“I'm not advocating that you beat your children,” Rowe hastened to inform the gathering, “but you have to instil discipline, and children do know the difference between disciplining and abuse.”

He urged parents to strike a balance by allowing their children to be heard and “to have a say, and to express an opinion”.


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