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DEMANDS for Immediate Government Response to Gender Based Violence in Trinidad & Tobago

This petition had 1,580 supporters

We call upon the Government of Trinidad and Tobago to immediately respond to the national crisis of gender based violence with direct action and accountability. Civil Society Organisations in Trinidad and Tobago (working for decades to end gender based violence) have joined forces with renewed calls upon the state. Members of Civil Society met with the Police Commissioner on 13th Jan 2020 and made specific demands of the Trinidad & Tobago Police Service to make immediate and necessary changes to their protocols and procedures and offered recommendations for the GBV unit. We then organised a public action on 25th January - Orange Day: Remembrance for Victims of Gender Based Violence at Woodford Square. We shared in our outrage and mourning over the 20 women killed in the past year. We raised our voices together and presented the following SIX DEMANDS of the Government of Trinidad and Tobago.

All are invited to join us and SIGN this petition. These signatures along with those collected at the action will be presented to the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago incrementally starting on the 31st January 2020. We call for change in our culture and systems, and make demands of the Government of Trinidad and Tobago to:

1) Increase Effectiveness, Accountability and Transparency of the State. To achieve this, we recommend the establishment of monitoring and evaluation mechanisms based on data collection, analysis, and dissemination protocols and within responsible state agencies, such as the police service, courts, and social services.

2) Ensure sufficient financial and organizational support and resources for national support systems that provide services to survivors and victims, including the: Shelters, Victim and Witness Support Unit, Gender and Child Affairs Division, the emergency hotline 800-SAVE, and the newly established TTPS Gender Based Violence Unit.

3) Amend the Domestic Violence Act to ensure non-discriminatory, timely and effective access to justice and safety, and to include the 10 recommendations of the Equal Opportunity Commission.

4) Establish a Social Fund as a national budgetary priority to support NGO-led shelters and civil society members providing services to persons affected by gender-based violence. 

5) Create a Multi-stakeholder coordination mechanism that includes civil society, academics and Ministries, working together to end gender-based violence. This committee will  advise Government on the adoption, resourcing, implementation and monitoring of the National Strategy against Gender Based and Sexual Violence and the National Policy for Gender and Development.

6) Invest in social reformation programmes to facilitate cultural change by embedding and teaching nonviolent communication approaches and methodologies in school curricula, social service provision, and public education campaigns.

These demands were developed and endorsed by the following Civil Society Organisations in Trinidad and Tobago: Coalition Against Domestic Violence (CADV), Arts-in-Action, Caribbean Feminist Action Research and Action (CAFRATT), CAISO: Sex and Gender Justice, CEDAW Committee of Trinidad and Tobago (CCoTT), Catholic Commission for Social Justice (CCSJ), Conflict Women, Ltd., Family Planning Association of Trinidad and Tobago, Institute for Gender and Development Studies UWI, National Union of Domestic Employees (NUDE), Network of NGOs for the Advancement of Women, Organization for Abused and Battered Individuals (OABI), People Against Domestic Abuse (PADA), The Shelter for Battered Women and Children, Trinidad and Tobago Union of Ganja Farmers, Women’s Caucus of Trinidad and Tobago, Women’s Institute for Alternatives in Development (WINAD), Women of Substance Tobago, Women Working for Social Progress, WOMANTRA.

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