BVI News

‘Domestic violence is a community problem’

Dr. Sylvia Simmons (File photo)

Director of the Family Support Network Dr Sylvia Simmons again has raised concern about domestic violence in the territory; this after a 27-year-old Jamaican woman was butchered at the Tortola house she shared with her husband.

The murder was witnessed by two children – the man’s 11 year-old son and the woman’s four-year-old daughter.

The husband, Lennox Da Silva, who has been charged with murder, has stopped just short of admitting to cutting his wife’s throat after he accused her of cheating.

The two were married for three years.

In a post on social media last evening, Dr Simmons, who is a psychologist by training, said the murder should be viewed as a community issue.

“The talk throughout the day was on the young lady who was murdered [allegedly] by husband. There is a great deal of speculation as to why she was murdered. A mother was murdered and her four-year-old witnessed the tragedy. Her murder was not just a family matter; it is a community problem. Everyone knows a victim. Everyone knows an abuser. Everyone can make a difference.”

“Domestic violence or domestic abuse – intimate partner violence or abuse – may start when one partner feels the need to control and dominate the other. Domestic violence affects all of us. It impacts all aspects of our community including health, crime rates, the ability to participate in the workforce, child development, and family dynamics,” added Dr Simmons.

While noting that domestic violence is ‘very much learned’, she called for additional focus to be placed on prevention and reaching out to children by – among other things – teaching them how to manage anger in a healthy way.

Dr Simmons also urged members of the community to work together to end all types of violence.

“A community works better when each citizen feels safe, secure, and free from the threat of violence. We all have a vested interest in working toward eliminating violence in all forms,” she said.

Dr Simmons, in the meantime, said persons can do the following to help stamp out violence:

1. Speak out against domestic violence and violence in general, whenever you have the opportunity.

2. Intervene by calling 911/311 when you know a woman or man is being abused. Remember, silence is the language of complicity.

3. Financially support programmes that fight against domestic violence financially.

4. Get the facts about domestic violence. Be a mouth piece.

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