Monday 1 June, 2020

Seek help before its too late regarding domestic abuse - cops

Police high command has sent out a call for members of the public to not be afraid to seek help or utilize several centres that have been established across the island to deal with cases of domestic disputes.

Police have also sought to assure citizens that in addition to the organisations established to address the issue, greater emphasis has also been placed on educating members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force to address the growing problem.

The call from the police comes on the heels of two separate attacks in the last 36 hours, one where a Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) Corporal reportedly chopped his 34-year-old common-law wife to death, then turned a gun on himself on Sunday in Portmore, St Catherine. 

Several hours after that incident, a St Elizabeth man, in a separate attack, reportedly stabbed his spouse to death in her parent's house in Brinkley district at about 11.50 pm on Sunday night.

Police have since sent out a call encouraging persons who may have fallen victim to domestic violence to not be afraid to seek help, and to come to them if they feel threatened.

“Our officers in the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) understand that domestic violence is one of those activities that can lead to major crimes and early intervention is necessary to save lives," said the police high command in a release.

"Jamaica has had with a number of domestic violence issues that have negatively impacted the crime statistics. In light of this persistent problem, greater emphasis has been placed on training and educating members of the JCF and other stakeholders through workshops to recognise and handle domestic violence-related matters in keeping with legislation," the release from the JCF stated.

According to the police high command, domestic violence consists of behaviours through which the perpetrator - intimate partners, spouses, etc – seek to exercise power and control over their partners through the use of physical violence and/or verbal abuse, emotional abuse, threats, intimidation, stalking and harassment.

"Domestic violence also includes family violence and child abuse," the release stated.

Know the signs:


Psychological/mental/emotional abuse – Abuse which deliberately destroys your self-confidence; it makes you feel you are useless, stupid or going crazy. It can be described as a type of brainwashing where you believe that everything that goes wrong is your fault.

Verbal Abuse – Constantly putting you down, calling you names, making you feel worthless, or making comments about your competence. It can also include threats of physical abuse.

Financial Abuse – When you are not allowed to have a say in how the money is spent, being refused money for family needs, or being made to get into debt for the other person.

Sexual Abuse – Being forced to have unwanted sexual contact or being drugged prior to unwanted sexual contact.

Physical Abuse – Physical assault can take many forms from pushing, poking, biting, burning, slapping, hair pulling, strangulation, using a weapon, smashing things or hurting children or pets.

Domestic Violence has three stages:

The JCF Domestic Violence Centres offers professional counselling, referrals to appropriate agencies, follow-ups with clients and credible and reliable information. Counselling is provided by trained and certified volunteer Counsellors and Chaplains who are trained in handling domestic violence matters.

Police also issued the names and contacts of its Domestic Violence Intervention (ICARE) Centres:

  • Constant Spring at 876-702-5120 or 876-702-5121
  • Matilda’s Corner at 876-978-6003
  • or the nearest Police Station.

 

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