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September 30, 2011
Women – if you are in a abusive relationship…

Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Jonathan Nicholls is appealing to women in St Vincent and the Grenadines who are in abusive relationships to “leave!”{{more}}

“…By far, numerous women are falling victim to domestic violence and gender crimes…As a man, I am speaking out against domestic violence. The police condemn all crimes that are domestic and gender based,” Nicholls told SEARCHLIGHT in an interview on Wednesday.

Nicholls’ advice came on the heels of an upsurge in this country, over the past month, in violent crimes committed against women.

Nicholls emphasised the need for persons to settle their differences in a more amicable manner. He noted that there are many women in St Vincent and the Grenadines who suffer in silence because they are not speaking out.

“Persons who have problems in relationships, we are asking you to seek help. We are asking you to speak out; get help…,” Nicholls beseeched.

“If you’re in a relationship and you feel that some sort of violence is going to take place, don’t wait until it erupts into that violence. Seek help, and if it is possible, get out of that relationship; Don’t put your life and your children’s life in danger; leave and don’t stay in any abusive relationship,” Nicholls urged.

The ASP recently returned from a training course in Rwanda, Africa, titled “Train the trainer course on investigating and preventing sexual and gender based crimes.” The course was also attended by participants from two other Caribbean countries and others from East African countries.

Nicholls said the courses dealt with procedures in conducting training. “It really gave us the hands on/ know how to handle such matters relating to sexual and gender base crimes…,” Nicholls stated.

He said his trip to Rwanda was a follow-up trip from a two-week training course in Canada on how to respond to reports of domestic violence and sexual offences, held back in April this year. While there, Nicholls said he performed exceptionally well.

He thanked the United Nations Women Caribbean Office and the Gender Affairs Division for sanctioning his participation in Rwanda.

Now that he’s back, Nicholls said he has already begun to put what he has learnt into practice. Last weekend, Nicholls facilitated two sessions at a domestic violence workshop hosted by the local National Council of Women.

At the workshop, Nicholls impressed upon participants to make a concerted effort to reach the “unreachable”.

“Sometimes, a lot of these programs do not reach who we want them to reach, and that is why we have to go out in communities to help those that are in need,” Nicholls added.

On August 14, 2011, 33 year-old Stephmnie Daniel succumbed to a single stab wound to her neck, allegedly by her former lover Aubrey Wilson, in Greiggs. Wilson, who is currently on remand for Daniel’s murder, was also charged with the attempted murder of Vasika Maloney, also of the same address. She sustained a stab wound to her head from the knife of Daniel’s alleged killer.

The terror continued on Tuesday, September 13, 2011, in Campden Park when the lives of Ingrid Jack-Franklyn, 36, and Marva ‘Hazel-ann’ James, 48, were snuffed out by a man who went on a shooting rampage, leaving two others with gunshot wounds. Jack’s husband, George ‘Chocolate’ Franklyn, is alleged to have been the man behind the trigger.

On Sunday, September 25, 2011, residents of Fitz Hughes were thrown into a state of shock when the lifeless body of an elderly woman was found in her home.

Marion John is alleged to have been raped and killed. Up until press time, no arrests were made in that matter.

Nicholls said this country has to get this situation under control before it escalates and ends in more tragedy.(KW)