THE Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport is pushing to ensure that the amended Domestic Violence Act will become a reality during the 2022/23 legislative year.
The legislation aims to give greater protection to victims and to deal effectively with perpetrators.
Portfolio Minister Olivia Grange provided an update during her contribution to the 2022/23 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on June 8.
She said that following Cabinet’s approval, a draft Bill was created with the assistance of the Office of the Chief Parliamentary Counsel, which was submitted to the attorney general’s chambers for comments.
“The ministry has received feedback from the chambers regarding the proposed amendments to the Domestic Violence Act. We have already started crafting responses for resubmission to the chambers,” she said.
She said she looks forward to the support of her colleagues in the Houses of Parliament to amend the Act.
“Domestic violence is a horrific crime which does not have to happen. The violence can end but it requires all of us,” she said.
Meanwhile, Grange said that the ministry is moving to establish a referral pathway for victims of gender-based violence, which will provide for coordination among entities to offer quality and essential services to victims in a timely manner.
She said the referral pathway is expected to be launched later this month.
“We continue to invest in the training of first responders, including the police, justices of the peace, guidance counsellors, and deans of discipline, to ensure that women and men receive the appropriate responses when they make complaints of domestic violence,” she said.