Wednesday 17 July, 2019

Domestic abuse victims urged to protect themselves

The International Women’s Resource Network (IWRN) is urging victims of domestic abuse not to rely on police alone for protection and to take measures to protect themselves.

The warning came as the organisation said yet another woman lost her life at the hands of an abuser, despite multiple reports lodged with the police.

Last Friday, preschool teacher Kayla Solomon was brutally murdered not far from the nursery school where she worked in Lambeau, Tobago. 

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Solomon had been bludgeoned to death by a hammer-wielding relative. The incident took place at the home of a friend where Solomon was said to be staying after a domestic dispute. She was originally from Lowlands, Tobago.

In a statement, IWRN president Sandrine Rattan said she was concerned with the way abuse victims deal with their situations.

She said simply reporting incidents of abuse to police was not enough.

"In addition to reporting to the police, the organisation is today making a strong appeal to abused women to also identify someone as a confidante, as a police report(s) would be insufficient in urgently treating with the situation," she said.

"Also, abused women need to start work on their safety toolkit which would assist them in removing themselves from the abused environment."

Rattan said it is far more important to ensure that the appropriate mechanisms are in place to prevent these types of killings rather than an investigation after the fact.

However, Rattan said women must act and remove themselves from an environment of abuse before it is too late.

"Another major area of concern which is a current reality is the fact that women return to their abused environment after indefinite periods with the belief that all is well," she said.

"This is foolhardy thinking as temporary departure from the environment does not equate to solving the problem.” 

She said oftentimes when victims of abuse do leave the abusive environment, they make the mistake of going to another location that is known to the perpetrator.

She said this can prove to be very dangerous.

Rattan said victims of abuse may contact the IWRN for assistance at 283-0318 or 268-6078.

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