The Ministry of Human Development and Families has committed to working to end domestic violence and violence against women. This comes in light of a brutal assault that took place last week that left a woman hospitalized at the hands of her husband, Joel Bardalez. According to Minister responsible, Dolores Balderamos Garcia, the ministry’s efforts and plans to fearlessly tackle domestic violence are ongoing for the protection of women and families.
Hon. Dolores Balderamos Garcia, Minister, Human Development, Families & Indigenous Affairs: “It is a constant struggle and it is a struggle that never ends. It seems that almost anything that we do is never enough but it is something that we must never take our focus away from because we continue to see the abuse of women and children and families on a whole you know ? And so I just want to say that we appeal to the Belizean people, our families, men and older people, everybody let’s respect one another and cherish one another because with these COVID times a lot of people are under pressure and somebody might tend to lash out and so we have to be here and ready and responsive to maybe children who are being neglected or abused and also elderly people we don’t want to forget that but I just want to say on behalf of our Ministry because we have tremendous support from all our workers in the women and family department, in the community rehab department and also in the human services department there is a lot of focus now on assisting families and children at at time like this. But of course the message has to be that we must never ever take our eyes off of this intractable problem if I could put it that way because it’s for all of us we’re all in this together and we have to signal, we can’t make a statement each and every time someone is abused but it is a problem that we must never ever forget and there must be a zero tolerance attitude.”
Bardalez was charged with aggravated assault on December 30 and was remanded to the Belize Central Prison. He appeared in court on Thursday seeking bail but that was denied. Bardalez reportedly attacked his 28-year-old spouse with a hammer resulting in a deep chop wound to the woman’s forehead, severe swelling and injury to the right eye and a deep cut on the lower lip along with other cuts and bruises.