Many women in Belize are trapped in abusive relationships and some even die at the hands of their abuser. However, there is no need for persons to die in an abusive relationship since there is help available to protect these victims. Love news spoke with Inspector Martha Rhys, the Officer in Charge of the Domestic Violence Unit, told us the protection available under the law for persons trapped in an abusive relationship.
Inspector Martha Rhys – Officer in Charge of the Domestic Violence Unit: “Then here at our office we would take the report, we would investigate the matter, if you wish to have the person arrested and charged when the person goes to court I know the court always put in place certain restrictions to that person when it comes to granting them bail. Like one of the restrictions is that you cannot contact that person any at all and you cannot be at the residence as well and those are two of the main restrictions that would be placed on the person if they are arrested and charged. If not then we advise them to apply for a protection order if they don’t want the person arrested and charged. And as I said the protection order comes with the fact that they cannot visit them at the residence, they cannot contact them- when I say contact them it is either directly or indirectly meaning they cannot communicate with them either through a third person because that is indirectly. They also have a provision that they can put the barrier of a hundred feet- they cannot approach them within a hundred feet and they cannot do anything to them that would constitute domestic violence. So those are some of the restrictions. If they are living together that person has to move from the home- that person has to move out of the home because then the order states that they cannot be at the residence.”
Rhys said that a protection order can be granted for up to three years.