The Honorable Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator Francine Baron, on Friday, October 21st, voiced her support to the Hon Minister for Justice, Rayburn Blackmoore, who tabled the bill for an act to amend the Sexual Offences Act of Dominica of 1998.
The bill introduces a number of new provisions and seeks to amend several existing ones in the act.
The bill will also address marital rape in which the Hon Minister says she believes that for the safety and well-being of the nation’s women there must be rules enacted.
“We cannot have an artificial restriction and say it is wrong but because you are married there is nothing that can be done about it. There are women in our society that are being abused day in and day out.
Some of these men have relationships outside, they may contract sexually transmitted diseases…if there is nothing to restrict a husband from imposing himself in that way on the wife that person is left with no recourse,” Hon Barron noted.
She also noted that child safety also plays a role in cases such as these.
Hon Baron continued, “If you have people within an abusive relationship it affects not only them but it affects their relationship with their children. If you are being abused on a continuous basis how do you relate to your children? Are your children seeing those things happening within the home? These are factors that we have to take into account when we consider the question of whether these qualifications should or should not remain.”