The grieving family of domestic violence fatality wants other victims to speak out and get help before it’s too late.
“We are still in the grieving process. The Family Support Network (FSN) didn’t mean anything to us before August 2018. But now it means something because we lost Regina Powell to domestic violence,” a Powell-family spokesperson said.
The spokesperson was at the time addressing a small gathering at the Noel Lloyd Positive Action Movement Park in observance of Domestic Violence Awareness Month on Tuesday.
She continued: “I am simply saying, if you see it, report it. If you are going through it, report it. There is nothing to be ashamed of. It is not your fault that someone is coward enough to abuse you. So please do not take it by yourself and the age doesn’t matter. We wished that Regina had actually reached out to us and reached out to FSN because if she did, we would still have her here with us today.”
According to US Virgin Islands media, Powell, who lived in St Thomas, USVI and has ties to the British Virgin Islands, was killed by a blunt force trauma to the head in August 2018.
Following their investigations, police arrested and charged her boyfriend with the slaying.
Soft sentences a concern locally
In the meantime, concerns over the somewhat weak penalties for domestic violence-related crimes are being expressed locally.
Addressing the issue, outspoken resident and Cindy Rosan-Jones took to social media urging female lawmakers such as Junior Minister for Tourism Shereen Flax-Charles to “show up and show out”.
Jones referred to the recent sentence of Vincentian Lennox Da Silva who was given a six-and-a-half-year prison sentence for killing his wife – Sherika Nelson-Da Silva – at their Greenland apartment roughly two years ago.
“With verdicts like these from female judges, progress is rendered useless. With the lack of our elected female voices, efforts are rendered useless. Women must step up for women. Verdicts like this shouldn’t go unchallenged. Today it’s her. But tomorrow it’s you, me, our daughters. These are the times I call on the women we voted for to show up. Why are they so silent?! I call on the entire woman population/movement of the BVI to stand with this young lady’s family and fight for justice for her. This was not justice. Let your voices be worth something this domestic violence awareness month,” Rosan-Jones said.
“At the start of the 2019 Domestic Violence Awareness Month, I would like to re-draw attention this hideous and outrageous judgement that has thrown us back some 100 years. Over the past month. I’ve read so many incidences of domestic violence leading to death across the Caribbean and world on a whole. It saddens me,” she added.
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