'Mek wi talk it out'
Manchester Parish Development Committee launches domestic violence intervention programmeTuesday, November 23, 2021
BY KASEY WILLIAMS
MANDEVILLE, Manchester — The Manchester Parish D evelopment Committee (PDC) recently affirmed its commitment to empowering citizens in 426 districts to quell domestic disputes plaguing the parish through the launch of a domestic violence intervention programme.
Manchester, in recent times, has been rocked by the killing of women, allegedly by their partners, leaving their children motherless.
Anthony Freckleton, chairman of the PDC, said the initiative dubbed, the 'Mek wi talk it out' Community Dispute Resolution project, is aimed at quelling community disputes “before they turn into crime and violence”, and solving other social problems.
“I have been hearing for 20 straight years that domestic disputes contribute to 70 per cent of the crime and violence in our parish,” he said. “The districts would be represented by a volunteer who would not only be responsible for identifying the disputes and have them treated before it boils over into violence, but also other issues especially in deep rural areas — garbage disposal, water, healthcare and education — the services under the constitution in the 17 sustainable development goals. The access to all these services are universally guaranteed, so no matter where you are you are still entitled to quality services.”
The PDC chairman said the initiative would also help citizens understand their constitutional rights and entitlements, plus incorporate the community development and area development committees to address problems that date back several generations.
Freckleton further said community representatives would engage a trained team of justices of the peace (JPs) to intervene in disputes.
“Sometimes, things escalate because we don't have sufficient intervention. We believe that this project will go a long way in not only putting a dent on this domestic violence scourge, but also be a platform for residents to [discuss] their issues,” he said.
Meanwhile, Custos of Manchester Garfield Green commended the Freckleton-led PDC initiative.
“You have made a bold step towards addressing our domestic dispute issues in the parish. The role of the PDC has certainly evolved over the years and now presides over a network of nine development area committees,” he said.
Green pledged support to the PDC initiative and committed to having the JPs serve as “first responders” in dispute matters.
“The parish of Manchester, especially for the last few years, has been faced with an upsurge in domestic disputes which have stemmed from the inability of those involved to resolve their issues and this is of concern to all well-thinking citizens,” he said.
Green added: “The issue of domestic violence has placed a burden on our police officers who have limited resources, and it also puts a burden on our court system. Therefore, this move to help our people, particularly the youth, is an impressive one.”