On Wednesday February 24, 2016 while addressing a forum on domestic violence against women, former Port-of-Spain Mayor Louis Lee Sing likened Trinidad and Tobago’s crime situation to the ongoing turmoil in Syria. Sing spoke at the forum, which was held at the Institute of International Relations, St Augustine Campus of the University of the West Indies in Trinidad & Tobago. According to the former Mayor it appeared as though the country could no longer protect its most vulnerable citizens.
“If a nation cannot protect its most vulnerable, it is not a nation. Trinidad and Tobago is not yet a nation. Violence altogether must be stopped in this country,” he said Wednesday. Sing said violence against women was a national issue that must be comprehensively addressed by legislators. Louis Lee Sing also revealed some starling figures on the number of women battered for the period 2005 to 2015, and the number of persons who breached the protection orders of the court. There was a total of 7,566 reports of assault by beating during this period and 1,238 cases where the protection orders were breached in this period.
In Trinidad more than 300 women have been murdered as a result of domestic violence for the period 2005 to 2015, the audience also heard. During Wednesday’s forum a victim of domestic violence turned up to voice her concerns over the lack of justice in her matter. A number of cases were also highlighted to underscore the state of affairs. In one scenario a man was abused by his wife who took a heater and held it against his chest, burning the impression of the heater into him. In another, a six-year-old boy was so badly sexually assaulted by his own father that the child was no longer anal-retentive. The nation is in pain as people are prisoners in their homes and women, men and children are being abused daily, said head of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service Victim and Witness Support Unit, Margaret Sampson-Browne on Wednesday.