August 1, 2021

Cayman Islands police concerned about increasing number of domestic incidents

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RCIPS Concerned about Increasing Number of Domestic Incidents

By Jacqueline Carpenter From RCIPS

In December officers have been responding to a rising number of domestic incidents, often with violent aspects.  In one weekend this month, twelve incidents were reported; overall, reports of domestic violence are up 44% year-to-date in comparison with last year.

The RCIPS has a “zero tolerance” policy in place to guide the response of officers to such incidents.  Where officers have cause to suspect a crime has taken place, positive action must be taken, and an arrest could result, whether or not the victim decides to pursue a complaint.  Just last weekend, 16-19 December, three arrests were made in connection with three separate domestic incidents.  Two men, and one woman, were taken into custody.

“It is important to remember that domestic violence refers to any violent or aggressive behaviour within the home between partners or family members,” said DS Michelle Miller, Acting Head of the Family Support Unit, “and sometimes men or older relatives are victims. Whatever happens in the home and whoever the abuser may be, it is children who witness abuse and can be the most scarred by it. We must be aware of all the forms that domestic violence can take if we are to address it or prevent it.”

“Some of the increase in incidents this month can be accounted for by an increase in reporting, perhaps, but it is also common for us to see more women seeking a safe place at this time of year,” said Ania Milanowska, Executive Director of the Cayman Islands Crisis Centre, “tensions about finances can run high during the holiday season.  What is critical for both partners to know – or at least be willing to learn – is how to de-escalate these situations and get help when needed.”

The RCIPS partners with the Crisis Centre and the Family Resource Centre in order to prevent and raise awareness about domestic violence in all its aspects, and conduct training for law enforcement as well as the general public.

Anyone who is being affected by domestic violence should reach out for help.  The 24-Hour Crisis Centre Hotline can be reached at 943-2422, and the Family Resource Centre can be reached at 949-0006 during business hours.  (In an emergency, however, always call 9-1-1.) The Crisis Centre is also opening new offices in Crown Square on Eastern Avenue in January 2017 which will offer services to all in the community, both men and women, seeking help to deal with domestic issues.


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