Crackdown On Domestic, Sexual And Child Abuse In Jamaica
Dancehall fans are very protective of the culture and the Prime Minister of Jamaica Andrew Holness found that out this week.
During a political meeting at the Rusea’s High School in Lucea, Hanover, last weekend, Holness says that daggering in dancehall is not only unacceptable but is to blame for violence on the island. “The guys who are doing this daggering dance, they are creative, but, they need to understand that what they are projecting into the minds of our children is that violence is acceptable,” the PM said.
That statement is not sitting well with some dancehall fans and some entertainment personalities in Jamaica including the often outspoken DJ Rush who pretty much told Andrew Holness to focus on fixing the economy and leave dancehall alone. “Fix the lack of jobs, debt to GDP ratio, crime, the fact that police are quitting more than joining,” Rush said. “Fix the economy and stop try fix music.”
Some dancehall fans on social media weigh in calling the PM comments out of touch while others defended him saying that dancehall is among the root causes of crime in Jamaica. Leave your comments below.
Side note, Andrew Holness was a fan of Vybz Kartel music and even named the incarcerated deejay as one of the best lyricist in dancehall.
PRIME MINISTER ANDREW HOLNESS ADDRESSES A PRESS CONFERENCE WHERE HE ANNOUNCED MEASURES TO COUNTER DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, SEXUAL ABUSE AND THE SEXUAL GROOMING OF MINORS. LOOKING ON ARE (FROM LEFT): CHIEF OF DEFENCE STAFF, MAJOR GENERAL ROCKY MEADE; ACTING COMMISSIONER OF POLICE NOVELETTE GRANT; ATTORNEY GENERAL MARLENE MALAHOO FORTE; AND MINISTER OF NATIONAL SECURITY ROBERT MONTAGUE. (PHOTO: JIS)
Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness has announced a zero tolerance approach to domestic violence, sexual abuse and the sexual grooming of minors, saying existing laws will be enforced and at least one other piece of legislation will be revised.
Addressing a press conference yesterday, he said the police force has been charged with intensifying its response to these crimes through the use of measures such as preventative detention.
“The Government will be using existing laws, which include preventative detention in live and imminent situations of domestic violence, sexual abuse and grooming of minors to remove aggressors from the scene, thereby de-escalating the situation,” Holness told reporters.
He added that aggressors in these circumstances will be required to partake in counselling or educational sessions as a condition of their release, following an assessment by the police.
Attorney General Marlene Malahoo Forte, explained that preventative detention, which is lawful under the Jamaican Constitution, requires that the police have reasonable grounds for detention and that there is fair procedure.
“There is a need for it…In the context in which domestic violence is taking place, it will allow the police to lawfully take someone whom they have reasonable grounds for believing is likely to commit an offence away, in order to prevent that person from committing the offence,” she explained.
That individual can be detained for up to 24 hours. And if there is cause to extend the detention beyond that time, a Justice of the Peace can provide an order for the period to be extended.
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister said Cabinet has given instruction for a revision of the Domestic Violence Act “to ensure that domestic abuse crimes are treated as serious crimes and attract serious penalties”.
Holness said the Government is also moving to intensify engagement with international partners to ensure that all appropriate information is provided about Jamaican deportees, particularly relating to sexual offences the person may have committed.
He said the measures announced are in response to increasing reports of violence against women and children and follow extensive discussions by Cabinet and the National Security Council.
Police have arrested and charged 1,442 perpetrators of crimes against women and children over the past 13 months.