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Sharp rise in cases of domestic abuse, minister tells MPs

Tough talk: Minister of Social Affairs and Seniors Tinee Furbert (File photograph)

Bermuda has witnessed a dramatic rise in cases of domestic abuse in recent years, according to a government minister.

The claim has been backed up by the charity Centre Against Abuse, which reported “a sharp increase in domestic abuse reports” up to 2020.

The revelation was made by Tinee Furbert, the Minister of Social Affairs and Seniors, in a statement in the House of Assembly, on Friday.

Ms Furbert told fellow MPs that there had been “a drastic increase in gender-based domestic violence rates”, which was “concerning”.

She said: “In 2020, the Director of Public Prosecutions revealed that 30 per cent of cases were domestic related.

“Additionally, in 2020 the Centre Against Abuse shared that they have experienced a sharp increase in domestic abuse reports.

“Between 2018 and 2020, there was close to an 88 per cent increase in abuse reports, with 91 reported in 2018, 161 reported in 2019, and 171 reported in 2020.”

Revealing further statistics, Ms Furbert said that men now lagged behind women in pay scales.

According to the latest 2020 figures, the median gross annual income by sex shows women earned $68,294 per year compared with $61,946 for men, representing a 9.7 per cent difference in pay.

The minister said: “Although these are just a few examples of gender-based issues that Bermuda faces, the Government understands the relevance and importance of working towards resolving them.”

Ms Furbert pointed out that a Gender Affairs Council would assist the Government in an advisory capacity “to bring perceptions, experiences, and interests of women and men to influence legislation, policy, and decision-making”.

She said:“ This is key to driving change towards a more productive, profitable, and equitable culture to improve society. It demonstrates the Government’s commitment to issues on gender balance as it relates to employment, economic opportunity, safety and security.

“I look forward to receiving expressions of interest, and I want to thank our community in advance for their support, interest, and commitment to what the Government seeks to achieve.

“I encourage individuals in our community who wish to serve on the Gender Affairs Council and be part of the progressive change to submit an Expression of Interest form by October 7, 2022. The form must be submitted electronically and can be accessed online at forms.gov.bm/Departments/The-Cabinet-Office/Expression-of-Interest

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Published October 03, 2022 at 7:33 am (Updated October 03, 2022 at 7:33 am)

Sharp rise in cases of domestic abuse, minister tells MPs

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