On Wednesday June 13th the Ministry of Justice & Security in collaboration with the Public Entity St. Eustatius held a one-day workshop, “ Give Respect, Get Respect” on the topics of domestic violence and child sexual abuse. The workshop brought together professionals working for the Public Entities, RCN services and the ministries of Justice and Security, Public Health, Welfare & Sport and Interior and Kingdom Relations in The Hague. Government Commissioner, Mr. Marcolino Franco, delivered an address to declare the workshop officially open.
The main objectives were to discuss the state of play of the work, task and responsibility of the different public services involved in addressing domestic violence and sexual abuse of children, strengthening the cooperation and the exchange of information between public services by connecting these initiatives, discuss instruments, structures and programmes which needed to better address the issue and to establish elements of a concrete integrated plan of action.
“Since 2017 St. Eustatius has its own Action Plan Domestic Violence”, said Marcolino Franco. “We want to treat this as a dynamic plan because domestic violence and sexual abuse of children are complicated topics to talk about in small communities. This often presents specific challenges for professionals working in this field. In St. Eustatius we have reached the stage where we must form strategic partnerships and further establish links among the various stakeholders locally and with the Kingdom. Today was the first step in the right direction. We cannot afford not to do anything”.
Participants discussed all the levels of domestic violence and child sexual abuse such as: signs of abuse and commitment of services for follow-up; registration and exchange of information between services; providing support and assistance to the victims; law enforcement, prosecution and probation to the perpetrator; training of professional; prevention and awareness raising and monitoring and evaluation.
“I am pleased with the level of commitment from stakeholders on the islands and in ministries in The Hague. Combined there is a great deal of experience and expertise that can help St. Eustatius to achieve its objectives in dealing with domestic violence and child sexual abuse. The proposed action points and agreements will be fleshed out further, in keeping with the objective of this workshop”, said Gert Bogers, Liaison Ministry of Justice & Security.