MP Gracita Arrindell Comments on New Report aboutRelational Violence

A Special report published in the latest issue of the Pan American Journal of Public Health under the heading "Legislation on violence against women: overview of key components," says despite worldwide efforts by public health advocates to strengthen legislation on violence against women, most existing laws fail to fully promote prevention and ensure adequate support and care for women who are victims of violence.

I believe this information is important to share with the public of Sint Maarten as we continue to prepare to submit our own draft law. Analysing legislation on women and violence in 80 countries and territories worldwide, the authors of the report compare existing laws with recommendations from the Pan American Health Organization and the United Nations.


They find that most countries’ laws fall short of adhering to key recommendations regarding definitions of violence, identification of women and beneficiaries of protection or support, roles for multiple sectors (judicial sector and police but also education and health) in interventions related to violence against women, and terms used (such as violence against women vs. domestic violence).

Laws on violence against women in the Americas fare better than laws in other regions, according to the report. Most countries and territories in the Americas included key recommended components in their violence against women legislation, and most legislation that included the term "violence against women" in the title was enacted in the Americas.

We will strive to be up to date with the draft to be submitted in our effort to protect women and children and men from abusers.

Our Minister of Justice Hon. Roland Duncan announced early February that there had been a sharp increase in crimes in the area of personal relationships, such as threats, incest and rape. It is therefore of utmost importance that a law on domestic violence is submitted soonest, especially in light of what the Minister told the community via a radio interview.

Country Sint Maarten should be at the forefront in having the necessary legislation in place to protect women and children from prowlers within our communities. This is one of my top priorities in presenting draft domestic violence law to parliament as soon as possible that would protect women, men and children.

I too agree that more emphasis must be placed on prevention and adequate support for victims of relational violence.

Drs. Gracita Arrindell

Member of Parliament

United People’s (UP) Party