It is time to stop placing plasters over the “sore” of domestic violence and begin the search for the causes of the scourge in order to formulate a strategy to prevent it, advised Independent Senator Sir Henry Fraser.
In his contribution today to the debate on the Domestic Violence (Amendment) Bill 2016, the retired Dean of Medical Sciences at the University of the West Indies recommended that the search for an answer must begin with a national discussion on the issue.
Sir Henry told the Upper Chamber that there was insufficient research and discussion on domestic violence, or anything that points to the reasons why it occurs.
He urged the authorities to do more than simply protect victims and punish abusers, and to focus on prevention.
“Beyond the protection of the victim and the punishment of the perpetrator, we have to be looking more seriously at a comprehensive way at having a national discussion about the understanding of the causes, the prevention of the actions and the help for the victim.
“It is no point to use plasters on sores. We need to get to the bottom of the problem and we need to have a more thorough understanding at the national level of the causes and we need to prevent it,” he insisted.
Sir Henry contended that the family structure had been “sadly lacking” and that schools did not do enough to help students develop relationships.
“The focus on the family that is a part of Western Christian societies is something that has been sadly lacking in our own society in recent times.
“People often say that the schools cannot solve the problems created in the homes and schools cannot provide the parenting that the parents are not providing, but it is a symbiotic relationship and I worry a great deal that the most important aspect of any society is the relationships and the ability to form appropriate domestic relationships, parenting relationships and working relationships across the society; and when you think about it, our schools do not make any serious attempt to do that,” the Independent Senator said.