Grange announces amendments to Domestic Violence ActThursday, April 15, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Government is expected to sign off next week on several amendments to the Domestic Violence Act including an increase of the penalty breaching a protection order from $10,000 to $500,000 or imprisonment for one year.
The announcement came from Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Olivia Grange, as she addressed the Spotlight Initiative Second National Steering Committee Meeting on March 14.
“This and other amendments came out of recommendations from the Joint Select Committee set up the review the Sexual Offences Act and simultaneously undertook review of the Offences against the Person, the Child Care and Protection and the Domestic Violence Acts from the perspective of the protection which they offer to women, children, the disabled and the elderly,” Grange said.
She said the other amendments include “a specific definition of 'domestic violence', to recognise not only the physical and sexual aspects of domestic violence, but also the financial, emotional and psychological aspects of domestic violence”.
The gender minister noted that another amendment is the expansion of the category of persons who are allowed to apply for protection orders on behalf of any abused person under the Act.
Grange said other amendments “are the expansion of the conduct or behaviours that the Court may prohibit the respondent from engaging in and widening of the threshold to be met in obtaining protection orders”.
It was also recommended that a separate Joint Select Committee be established to carry out a comprehensive review the entire Domestic Violence Act on its own, she said.
“The intent being to ensure that the legislation as well as the institutional framework necessary for the successful implementation of all aspects of the legislation could be dealt with,” Grange said.