Diego Martin marches against domestic violence

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Trinidad – There have been over 11,000 reports of domestic violence in the Diego Martin district over a five-year period.
The figure was given by Diego Martin Regional Corporation (DMRC) chairman Susan Hong just before the start of a Walk Against Domestic Violence Towards Women in the region yesterday.
The walk, in keeping with International Women’s Day, which will be celebrated on Wednesday, started at the Big Tree in Diego Martin and ended at the Green Market, Bagatelle. The walk was in collaboration with First Citizens.
Hong said statistics gathered from 2010 to 2015 revealed that 11,441 cases of domestic violence were reported to the police.
“Seventy-five per cent of that figure is against women. Some of the high profile cases we have include businesswomen Vindra Naipaul-Coolman and Dana Seetahal SC. Life means something and one murder is too much.”
Hong added that yesterday’s walk was also to highlight other violence, including the upsurge in crime throughout the country.
In focusing on crime in Diego Martin, Hong admitted she could not say what was causing the upsurge of crime in the area, but promised efforts were being made in collaboration with the T&T Police Service (TTPS) to have more police visibility in the community.
“We want peace. We want a place where we can feel comfortable and safe again,” Hong said.
She added that the DMRC is looking forward to local government reform, which she said will allow them to strengthen and increase their police base.
“Presently, we only have ten police officers and we have three administrative buildings. Our police are overwhelmed and can’t perform as they would like too, hence the reason why we have invited the TTPS to several co-coordinating meetings.
“I don’t have any idea how soon reform will come about, but tomorrow will be soon enough. We really do need it,” Hong said.
First Citizens Marketing Officer—Card Issuing Business Electronic Banking Unit, Martica Crichlow, said the bank’s Pink Card initiative had so far raised $.5 million in financing for non-government organisations such as the Rape Crisis Society that help distressed women.
She said they will soon try to get more NGOs under their wings.
“Our goal since the inception, which was three to four years ago, is to reach out to the women who are faced with domestic violence or other forms of abuse.
“Our aim is growth and to reach out more,” Crichlow told the T&T Guardian.
“Anyone can sign up for the Pink Card and pledge any amount on a monthly basis. These funds are injected to organisations that help women.”

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