Belize has only just observed the annual 16 Days of Activism to end gender based violence against women and children. And while the activities ended on December 10th, the reports on violent acts upon women and children and domestic abuse continue to make the news on a weekly basis. The number of cases continues to alarm many, among them Senator Valerie Woods. In Monday’s session of the Senate, Senator Woods made her position known, saying that the government should make more efforts to present legislation before the Senate to address domestic abuse. Leader of Government Business Godwin Hulse supported her position.
Valerie Woods, Senator: “Mr. President we may not have a choice in the fact that one has to amend but we do have a choice in what those amendments can be, in properly consulting on those but we also have a choice to bring domestic legislation that reaches a wider audience and I close in citing the reasons or names of persons why we should have had more than this legislation this last final month of 2018 and those are Josephine Hamilton age 30 of Punta Gorda, Maria Yasmin 34 of Trial Farm. Roxanne Pop age 33 Belize City, Marcia Downs age 37 Belize City. Hermelinda Emmanuel age 46 Belize City and prayers and thoughts of course going out to the young Aniesha Young age 23. Mr.President I site that because this has been a year where we’ve been called to senate meetings with extreme social environment and legislation is not coming before the senate to address those. I hope and I put on record that for 2019 we can all do a better job to encourage legislation to address domestic issues as much as we must address the issues of foreign.”
Godwin Hulse, Senator: “This is a serious thing. We now have another woman again young girl who they are looking everywhere for. I saw even when I was in River Valley a lot of people looking- this is sad, very sad in our country and I am sure that the Attorney General’s ministry has been working on some of these legislations. There are a whole slew of them coming up to try to address some of these things but it goes a bit beyond that. It goes to the conscience and the concept of our people and how we train our people and how we are bringing up young people.”
This the 16 Days of Activism was observed under the theme, “Hear Me Too: End Gender Based Violence against Women and Girls”.