VAW NGO Forum – Grenada

view of the carenage from fort george

View of St. Georges Grenada

The NCDF held its Forum for NGOs working on the issue of violence against
women in st. Georges Grenada on August 29th,2011.
The Forum was facilitated by The NCDF’s President Carol Daniel.
Ms Daniel arrived in Grenada in early August and spent sometime on the ground researching the issue of violence against women in Grenada.
The NCDF was very impressed with the work being done by the NGO sector in Grenada and the Government of Grenada in an effort to eradicate violence against women and provide support victims of domestic violence.
The NCDF would like to thank The Grenada National Organization of Women for the support they gave Ms Daniel during her time on the ground in Grenada. We would also like to thank the Ministry of  Social Development
for their support.
The NCDF would like to thank Ms Angella Humphrey- Lewis for taking the minutes of the Forum.

Minutes of the Meeting
Forum for Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs)
On the Prevention of Domestic Violence in our Communities

August 29, 2011
NGO Caribbean Development Foundation (NCDF), 2011
Prepared by:
Angella (Kizzy) Humphrey-Lewis
St. George’s Grenada, W.I.
The Forum for Grenadian Non-Governmental Organizations, working towards the eradication and prevention of domestic violence, was held at the Flamboyant Hotel, Morne Rouge, St. George’s Grenada, on August 29,2011. The Forum focused on strengthening the sector and improving its ability to support and help victims of domestic violence.
Opening of Session:
The Chairperson, Ms. Carol Daniel welcomed participants and expressed her appreciation to the participants for their attendance.
About The  NCDF
In a briefing of about the Organization, Ms Daniel informed the meeting that she founded the NCDF (2007), after spending a decade in England. The main focus of the NCDF is the development of the NGO sector in the region and to facilitate the creation of work plans, campaign strategies and the implementation of regional campaigns. The Board of the foundation comprises four members:
  • President & Founder: Carol Daniel
  • Vice President: Witek Hebanowski
  • Corporate Secretary: Sr. Mary Claire Zitman
  • Legal Director: Alice Daniel
About the meeting
The main focus of the meeting was to obtain feedback from NGOs in Grenada, on the recommendations coming out of the Violence against women Regional conference held in Trinidad in September 2010.
Ms. Daniel then introduced Mrs. Claudia Mark Benjamin, Domestic Violence Programme Officer in the Division of Gender and Family Affairs within the Ministry of Social Development and invited her to give an outline of the Domestic Violence Act 2010 of Grenada.

Mrs Claudia Mark Benjamin

Presentation by Mrs. Claudia Mark Benjamin
In the context of the topic, Mrs. Mark Benjamin made a power point presentation on the Domestic Violence Law Domestic Violence in Grenada (The Domestic Violence Act 2010)
The power point programme looked at the following:
  • Objective of the Act
  • Structure of the Law
  • Who is protected
  • Definition of Domestic Relationship
  • What does a protection order do?
  • Who is protected?
  • Differences between Domestic Violence Act 2001 and 2010

The law governing families was archaic, inadequate and in general did not reflect the socio economic realities; the Eastern Caribbean Court (ECSC) made moves towards judicial and legal reform and has served well in driving the process of change towards more progressive laws. This was an effort to adjust the laws to our social realities and also to take into consideration the provisions of the relevant conventions and treaties signed by the OECS governments to better serve the interest of families and in the OECS member states.
The family law was part of the wider ECSC’s initiative commenced in 2001 and was aimed at the reform and harmonization of family laws thereby, promoting greater access and equality to justice as well as a more integrated and holistic approach to resolve matters related to the family.
Enactment of the model legislation represents not only a milestone for governments of the OECS but will also serve as instruments that will guide the process of change in the promotion of gender justice, equality and human rights in general.
Thus providing greater access and a more equitable dispensation of justice for all families in the OECS and the region.
She then looked at the Grenada Domestic Violence Act, 2010.
The Parliament of Grenada passed a law in December 2010 entitled “Domestic Violence Act 2010” which replaced the Domestic Violence Act 2001. This law came into force or came into operation on May 16, 2011. The act is divided into four (4) parts:
PART I: provides the preliminary provisions and contains clauses 1-4
Clause 1: States the short title and commencement.
Clause 2: Provides for the interpretation section which defines words and phrases that are used in the law
Clause 3: makes it mandatory for the police officers on arrival at the scene of an incident of domestic violence, to inform the victim and the perpetrator of his or her rights. The police have to state to the individual that he/she has a right to request assistance of a member of the Royal Grenada Police Force for the protection of themselves or their children, police assistance in locating a place of safety or even medical safety etc.
Clause 4: States that the police can make an arrest without a warrant at the scene of an incident subject to Clause 21 which makes provision for the above where the police officer believes that a person is engaging in conduct which can result in physical violence, serious injury or death.
PART II: provides for protection orders and contains Clauses 5-17
Clause 5: makes provision for the protection order and outlines the persons who could apply for such orders.
Clause 6: makes provision for the Court to issue an interim protection order. The act provides that the interim protection could be issued if the Court is satisfied that the respondent is committing or has committed, or is likely to engage in conduct that would constitute an act of domestic violence. By virtue of sub clause 6 of Clause 6 an interim protection order may be made for such a period as the Court considered necessary – a period not exceeding 28 days.
Clause 7: makes provision for the terms of a protection order, stating specifically acts which a respondent may be prohibited from.
Clause 8: provides for the matter to be considered by the court.
Clause 9: contains provisions regarding seizure of arms and dangerous weapons in domestic violence situations
Clause 10&11: makes provision for the service of notice of proceedings and other services, other personal service such as by registered post or by advertisement in the papers.
Clause 12: makes provision for the filing of affidavits by the respondent and applicant, either why the court should or should not issue a protection order.
Clause 13: makes provision for the power of the court to issue a protection order.
By virtue of Clause 14: the court proposes to make an interim protection order or a final protection order.
Clause 15: States that the respondent should not be bound by a final protection order unless he/she has notice of the said order.
Clause 16: provides for the variation and revocation of an interim protection order or a final protection order.
Clause 17: makes provision for the service of a varied protection order.
Clause 18: deals with the enforcement of an interim order and a final protection order and provides a penalty for the breach of any such order.
PART III Provides for police orders of entry and arrest and contain clauses 19-24
PART IV States miscellaneous provisions and contains clauses 25-38.
At the ending of her presentation a lively discussion was held and the following questions were raised:
  • How the Police will deal with Police Officers who themselves are perpetrators?
  • Training for police prosecution is critical (formal legal training)
  • Victims of sexual abuse – what legal re-course do they have in case of torture of the individual, physical trauma
  • Whether laboratory personnel have the relevant tools to work with
  • The concern was raised about proper data collection (police, NGO, social workers)
  • Persons needed to be sensitized to the Domestic Violence Act, 2010

Group Session

At this stage participants were divided into four (4) Groups. The groups looked at the recommendations coming out of the Regional Conference held at the Cascadia Hotel, St. Anns, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago on September 21 & 22, 2010. The recommendation are compiled in a document entitled The Cascadia document

Group 1: The Role of the Police – Sensitivity training for Police

There should be ethical and sensitivity training for the Police in the ways in which they deal with victims of domestic violence
The Grenada forum agreed with this recommendation, they made the following additions to the recommendation.
  • Sensitivity Training on the issue of domestic violence should target new recruits to the police force and should therefore be a part of the training at training school for the Police. The training should also impress upon new recruits the need for confidentiality when dealing with victims of domestic violence
  • Each Police Station should have at least two (2) officers (trained) to deal with domestic violence, such officers should be attached to a domestic violence unit at each station/Division
  • Continuous training should be provided for senior officers.
  • Trainers should be both male and female;
  • The Police, the NGO sector and other advocates should be a part of preventative programmes that includes good parenting as well as the general education of the public on the issue of domestic violence.
  • Training programmes targeting the Police and the general public should be culturally specific (local, regional)
Creation/re installation of a training manual for police officers dealing with victims of domestic violence.
NGOs in the region working against domestic violence should be used by regional governments to provide such training to police units across the region. New police recruits, in particular should be targeted.
UWI as a tertiary level institute should also be used to provide training in some of the more sociological and psychological issues pertaining to domestic violence.
The Grenada Forum agreed with the above recommendations however they felt that the established educational institutions in Grenada and the region should be relied upon for training materials and programmes. Therefore the University of St. Georges in cooperation with the University of the West Indies should be used for training on the sociological and psychological aspects of domestic violence.
Police officers in the region should attend the Gender and Development Programme in Barbados. Police officers should also be exposed to the ECLAC course on Domestic violence

Group 2: Creation of Domestic Violence Unit & Creation of sexual assault response team attached to domestic violence Unit

Each Police station should have a domestic violence unit attached to it. This in itself is not new as the domestic violence acts of a number of islands already include this provision.
However across the region there has been some level of experimentation, but in many cases those experiments have been discontinued.
The forum recommends that this provision of many of the DV acts across the region be implemented on a full scale.
The Grenada Forum agrees with the above recommendation. The forum however adds some specific recommendations for Grenada.
● Create special victims units within the Community Relations Division of the Royal Grenada Police Force, To deal with;
● Sex crime;
● Domestic Violence;
● There should be no Gender Bias where victims are concerned;
● The unit should provide skill personnel;
There should be a special effort to provide resources for transportation where the Domestic violent unit is concerned
Creation of sexual assault response team attached to domestic violence units
Each domestic violence unit should have attached to it a sexual assault response team that deals directly with victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. This team should include ER nurses that are specially trained to deal with victims of sexual assault and domestic violence
Police officers should be trained in interviewing children from domestic violence homes with the objective of gathering evidence.
Victim support professionals should be attached to sexual assault units. These should include psychologists and other rape crisis experts and victim support groups.
The Grenada Forum agrees with the above recommendations; however the forum’s specific recommendation for Grenada is that the Sexual Assault team should:
Create Support systems for victims of domestic violence and sexual violence.
The Sexual assault unit should also work in collaboration with other units
Security of Shelters
The forum identified a number of incidences at shelters, where abusive spouses tracked their partners to shelters, and became violent once locating
their spouse. There should be armed police presence at shelters, or shelters should be no trespassing zones monitored regularly by the police.
The Grenada forum agreed with this recommendation and added that there should be:
  • Twenty-four hour security;
  • Routine Police visits and patrol;
Psychological counselling for Police officers
There should be mandatory psychological counseling for Police officers attached to Domestic violence units.
The Grenada Forum agreed with this recommendation; however they added that there should also be psychological testing of all police officers within the unit.
Group 3: Health Sector in the region and its ability to cope with Domestic Violence
The Forum recommends the establishment of a series of protocols for dealing with victims of domestic violence.
The Establishment of a relationship between Health Care workers, the police and social workers in the fight against domestic violence.

Where a suspected case of domestic violence enters the hospital the police and social worker should be alerted.
Mandatory reporting of cases of suspected domestic violence and sexual violence to the police by the health sector.
The Grenada forum agreed with the above recommendations, they added that the establishment of a relationship between health care workers, the police and social workers should include forums and workshops to establish regular contact. The Grenada Forum also recommended that a directory of the stakeholders be created in order to facilitate the establishment of a relationship between the stakeholders.
The relationship between the stakeholders would facilitate a coordinated response to a suspected case of domestic violence. Health Care workers would play a key role in observing the signs of domestic abuse such as depression, anxiety, and general signs of physical abuse.
The Grenada forum also recommended the use of the media in launching a sensitization campaign on the issue of domestic violence. This campaign would serve to inform the public as to the kind of help available to victims of domestic violence and where such help can be obtained.
There should be the attachment of at least one forensic nurse to every emergency room, in every hospital. This should allow for collecting evidence as early as possible in the life of a case.
The Grenada Forum agreed with the above recommendation. The Forum suggested that the development of the field of forensic nursing in the region would be facilitated by compulsory training in the area of forensics and evidence collection in the nursing profession.
Emergency room attendants should be properly trained to accurately complete medical forms for injuries, sustained by suspected domestic violence and sexual violence victims.
The creation of a unified data collection process that will support analytical and sociological research on the issue of domestic violence in the region
The Grenada Forum agreed with the above recommendation, they recommended that the collection of data can be facilitated by the media campaign previously mentioned. The campaign would encourage victims of domestic violence to be truthful, giving accurate information to the Police, health workers and social workers once they enter the public arena for help.
Development of the field of forensic nursing in the region
The forum recommends that the field of forensic nursing should be developed as a specialized area of nursing in the region. Initiatives to develop this branch of nursing should take the form of government assisted tertiary level study for previously qualified nurses interested in specializing in this area of nursing
There should be the creation of an association of forensic nurses in the region, in an effort to regulate this specialized branch of nursing.
The Grenada Forum agreed with the above recommendation and added that training in this particular area of the profession should be made compulsory within the profession.

Group 4: Mental Health sector and coping with domestic violence in the region.

The forum recommends mandatory counseling for perpetrators of domestic violence who have been served with restraining orders.
Training programs for health care workers should incorporate HIV/AID prevention awareness counseling for victims of domestic violence and sexual violence.
The Grenada Forum did not agree with this recommendation of mandatory counselling for perpetrators. The Grenada Forum advised that that the recommendation needs to clearly define the type of counseling offered, in terms of psychological counselling or Educational counseling, where the perpetrator is taught how to conduct himself in a relationship, as well as gain an appreciation for the fact that violence against women is a violation of a woman’s human rights.
The Grenada Forum identified the local equivalent of a program that provides counseling for perpetrators, such as the program ‘Man to Man’, conducted by LACC.
The Grenada forum advised that voluntary counseling for the perpetrator would be preferable to mandatory counselling. They were of the view that mandatory counseling may not be very effective if the perpetrator is forced to attend sessions.
Counselling should also be offered to the victim as well as affected family members.
The Grenada Forum agreed with training for health care workers. Training should be across the board for all mental health and health care workers. The Grenada Forum advised that training should include techniques in questioning victims of domestic violence as well as offering advice and counselling to victims of domestic violence. Training of Health Care workers should be broadened to include how to advice victims to protect themselves against possible infection of HIV/AIDS.
Finally the Grenada Forum advised that there should be a program offered to victims of domestic violence on Self Defense. The information about such a program should be included in the information disseminated by Health Care workers to victims of domestic violence.

The Education sector – Coping with domestic violence in the region

The forum recommends domestic violence awareness programs that are age appropriate, targeting teenagers and young adults. These programs should attempt to make teenagers and young adults aware of what is considered appropriate and inappropriate behaviour in relationships
There should be the initiation of mentoring programs for young teenage boys in schools. These programs should promote appropriate sexual conduct and responsibility.
The Grenada Forum agreed with the above recommendations but added
that mentoring programs should target both genders.
The Grenada Forum also suggested that the role of educational counselors
Should be expanded to include detecting children at risk of abuse, or experiencing
abuse in the home.
In order for such programs to be successful trainers themselves, should be properly and relevantly trained.
Introduction of Participants:
Each participant introduced themselves and the organization which they represented.
After the groups presentations, energetic discussions were held.
Mrs. Elaine Henry McQueen, Senior programme Office in the Division of Gender and Family Affairs gave an insight of a Project: “State Response to End Violence against women: Legislative and police reform Implementation Programme,” funded by the UN Trust Fund.
The goal of the project is to reduce violence against women and girls through effective implementation of laws and national Policies.

Specific Objectives:
  • To provide an effective multi-disciplinary response that build public confidence and serves as a deterrent to perpetrators and potential perpetrators of violence against women;
  • To develop the capacity of major stakeholders in the application of the law and policies
  • To foster systemic and sustainable institutional changes in response mechanisms;
  • To engender a well-informed general public with knowledge of the relevant laws, national policies, rights and mechanisms;
  • To reduce the cultural tolerance of violence against women;
  • To maintain an effective stakeholder support network and communication.
Forms of Violence to be addressed:
Intimate partner violence (domestic violence which includes: physical violence, sexual harassment, sexual violence and abuse, marital rape).
She also mentioned the key stakeholders:
  • The Royal Grenada Force
  • Central Statistical Unit
Mrs. Henry Mc Queen concluded by saying that the Ministry looked forward to ensure that the project will be an overall success.
This concluded the forum. Ms. Daniel expressed her appreciation to participants and thanked them for their overall participation. There was a high level of discussions, participants contributed greatly by asking questions and the sharing of their knowledge. The workshop provided clear guidelines throughout the process and the participants took an active role in ensuring that the forum was indeed a success.
The Flamboyant Hotel
Flamboyant hotel

Participating Organizations:
  • Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA)
  • Soroptomist International – Grenada
  • Grenada National Organization of Women (GNOW)
  • Grenada Save the Child Fund (GRENSAVE)
  • Public Workers Union Women’s Arm
  • Public Workers Union
  • Legal Aid & Counselling Clinic (LACC)
  • Inter Faith Organization (other churches Organizations)
  • Ministry of Health
  • Grenada National Coalition on the Right of the Child (GNCRC)
  • CEDARS Shelter for Battered Women & their Children
  • Home Makers Association
  • Association of Social Workers
  • The Media
  • Gender & Family Affairs (Ministry of Social Development)
  • GRENROP Organization
  • Grand Roy Church
  • Program for Adolescence
  • Royal Grenada Police Force