Thu | Sep 21, 2017

Many victims make wrong choices - DPP

Published:Monday | March 20, 2017 | 3:00 AMJodi-Ann Gilpin
Scotia Group President and CEO Jacqueline Sharp (left) greets Professor Barbara Bailey (second left); Director of Public Prosecutions Paula Llewellyn (second right) and Chief Justice Zaila McCalla at the Institute for Gender and Development Studies, University of the West Indies 2017 Annual Women’s History Month breakfast forum celebrating women pioneers on Friday.

There can never be any justification for physical violence or any other kind of abuse against women and children.

Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Paula Llewellyn made that very clear during a breakfast forum hosted by the Institute for Gender and Development Studies on Friday.

However, those women guilty of neglect and abusing their children should be held accountable and brought to book, instead of being let off the hook, Llewellyn argued, accusing the media and some civic groups of aiding and abetting this delinquency.

"When we look at the statements on file, very often a lot of these women who are victims have made wrong choices. Some of the women, because they are economically underprivileged, they allow a carousel of men to be coming through their children's lives," she said.

"We cannot let delinquent parents off the hook and I find sometimes that the media does that. When you have women who are going to have children who they cannot afford and then depend on a carousel of men to empower them, ... (they feel) they have to look the other way if negative things are happening."

She added: "They want to go to a party and they leave an eight-year-old to look after a four-year-old, then you see everybody bawling on television; but I listen to hear any organisation castigating those women and encouraging people not to leave their children like that."

In painting graphic images of cases of sexual abuse she has encountered in her practice, she said there is an urgent need for empowerment initiatives to be established to assist broken women rise above their challenges.

"One would almost think that it is the police who need to apologise for not putting a police person to either live in the bedroom or live in the household. I see it all the time, and I think the media and some women's organisation let these delinquent parents off the hook," she charged.

"You have to be the man in the mirror or you have to be the erson holding up that mirror to the rest of society and say, it is not right if you know that you cannot afford it but yet, you sit down in the 21st century and have five, six and seven children and you don't work," she continued.