Nearly 2,500 males report incidents of domestic violence in 2022 – Cuthbert-Flynn
KINGSTON, Jamaica – Approximately 2,500 males reported cases of domestic violence to the Jamaica Constabulary Force’s Domestic Violence Intervention Centres (DVICs) at the various police stations across the island in 2022.
At the same time, over 6,200 cases of domestic violence were reported by females to the DVICs last year.
The information was shared by the Member of Parliament for St Andrew West Rural, Juliet Cuthberth-Flynn, during her contribution to the debate on the Domestic Violence (Amendment) Act 2023, which was passed in the House of Representatives on Tuesday.
Cuthbert-Flynn also noted that according to the United Nations, Jamaican women face the second largest number of cases of femicide each year, a point also made by the MP for St Ann South Eastern, Lisa Hanna, during her contribution to the debate.
Femicide refers to the intentional killing of females by males because of their gender.
Cuthbert-Flynn noted that while a combined total of more than 8,700 cases of domestic violence were reported in 2022, the actual number was likely to be much higher as many people decide not to report for various reasons including out of fear.
“We all know that domestic violence can have a profound effect on an individual, the scar lasts a lifetime,” she said.
The lawmaker urged women to get out of abusive relationships, stating that “if he hits you he doesn’t love you” as she pointed to data which shows that one in every three Jamaicans experiences gender-based violence.
Based on the amendments to the Act, persons accused of breaching a protection order from the court in a domestic violence case will soon be facing a fine of up to $1 million or up to one year in prison.
The current penalties are $10,000 and or six months imprisonment.
The amendments also expand the list of persons who can seek a protection order from the court in a case of domestic violence.
Additionally, gun owners accused of domestic violence will have to hand over their weapons. Section 4, sub-section 1(b) will now direct the respondent to return property jointly or separately owned by the prescribed person that the respondent has in his or her possession or control, and hand over to the police any gun or other prohibited weapon in the respondent’s possession or control.