GIS - 24 September, 2019: Domestic violence is not only a legal issue but it is also a societal problem which needs to be addressed collectively and at individual level.
The Vice-Prime Minister, Minister of Local Government and Outer Islands, Minister of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare, Mrs Fazila Jeewa-Daureeawoo, made this statement, today, in the National Assembly in reply to a Private Notice Question on domestic violence.
Domestic violence, she said is a serious issue in Mauritius and worldwide adding that the Ministry is not insensitive to this issue. She expressed concerns as regards the alarming number of tragic cases that the country has witnesses recently. She indicated that despite amendments brought to Protection from Domestic Violence Act, including tougher penalties, women are still being victims of domestic violence.
She stated that a Domestic Violence Review Committee will be set up to identify any shortcomings from stakeholders while addressing cases of domestic violence. Stakeholders, she said will be called upon to attend committees as regards serious cases of domestic violence including homicide to address the lacunas and propose immediate actions.
As regards reported cases, the Vice-Prime Minister, indicated that immediate assistance and support are provided to victims and their children through the Family Support Bureaux. Victims are also assisted in the drafting of their Affidavits prior to making application for Court Orders under the Protection from Domestic Violence Act, she added. She pointed out that this year itself the Ministry launched the Integrated Support Centre which enables the Ministry to receive more calls on domestic violence related cases.
She also said that ongoing public awareness campaigns are conducted by the Mauritius Police Force and the Caravanne de Proximité so as to reach people in remote areas as well. From 2015 to July 2019, 23,175 people were reached through 535 campaigns by the Ministry, she said. With regard the number of cases of physical assault reported from 1st January to 31 August 2019, 1790 cases were reported and 996 persons were arrested, she added.
Vice-Prime Minister Jeewa-Daureeawoo, further said that a National Action Plan to address Intimate Partner Violence is another step in the fight to protect survivors which will act as a roadmap in the fight against intimate partner violence.
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