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Do Women Feel Safe in Trinidad & Tobago?

Women in Trinidad and Tobago don’t feel safe. This was the general consensus during Tuesday’s “Let’s Talk T&T: Breaking the Bias”, a live discussion on Twitter hosted by the British High Commission and Delegation of the European Union to Trinidad and Tobago.

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The discussion, which was moderated by students from the UWI St Augustine Student Guild and the COSTAATT School of Journalism and Communication Studies, saw participants sharing experiences and issues faced by women in this country on a daily basis.

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Speaking on the platform, Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi said the Government has been trying to make people feel safer.

“While I can point to tonnes of legislative improvements, and operational improvements such as people on the sex offender’s registry, drop in domestic violence matters that result in deaths, the sense of feeling safe is one that is constantly being worked on,” Al-Rawi said.

“People calling for improvement is a critical area of where we stand. Our society is definitely in a continuous battle of trying to make sure that there is justice served in a faster and faster and more opportune way than before, so that people feel confident that there are consequences to deviant actions,” Al-Rawi said, adding that there are other issues, including witnesses’ anonymity and whistle-blowing protection that have to be implemented to curb the fear of re-porting crime.

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“Let’s give witness anonymity a chance in very careful circumstances. Let’s give whistle-blowing protection a chance. There is need for amendment to our Evidence Act to allow for witness anonymity because the rest of the Commonwealth has it.

“The laws of England have witness anonymity, the United States of America has witness anonymity, but in Trinidad and Tobago, we don’t.

‘The UK has whistle-blowing protection, cybercrime protection of the type to treat with sexual offences; they have an offence of voyeurism, they have the issue of revenge pornography.

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“Why is it that we can’t have it, and isn’t that something in and of itself that helps us to stop people being victims of crime? Because at the end of the day, the theory of law is that people will be deterred from committing crimes if the system is at work and there is a result, but certainly there is no prosecution and conviction because of the fear of being caught as a witness,” Al-Rawi said.

Women in T&T don’t feel safe  Trinidad & Tobago Express Newspapers

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