Kamla: Government doing little to address ‘pervasive’ violence

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar

Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar says the government is not doing enough to address violence in this country, especially among girls and women.

In a press release acknowledging International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women – observed on November 25 annually – Persad-Bissessar said girls and women “continue to face threats to their personal safety.”

This year’s theme is Unite: Activism to End Violence Against Women and Girls, which she said “highlights the need for all sectors of society – government, civil society, NGOs (non-government organisations), CBOs (community-based organisations) and ordinary citizens – to join in taking action to end violence once and for all.”

She said while everyone has an important role to play in eliminating violence, it is the government’s responsibility to “craft policy and develop plans and initiatives to tackle this problem.

“It is most unfortunate that under the current administration, violence is pervasive, and little is being done to address this.”

She said crime is “out of control” and people in Trinidad and Tobago live in fear, “and cannot get simple tools to protect themselves such as pepper spray,” she added.

“The pepper spray legislation was passed over a year ago, yet people are still unable to procure this item, as there are still outstanding issues with the processing of applications for permits.”

She said everyone deserved a peaceful and safe environment.

“We must step up our efforts to tackle the root causes of violence so that we can bring an end to the scourge.”