Sexual Offences Act amendment to be tabled in Parliament

first_img Share LocalNews Sexual Offences Act amendment to be tabled in Parliament by: Dominica Vibes News – September 23, 2016 Share 140 Views   no discussions Tweetcenter_img Share Attorney General, Levi Peter (file photo)An amendment of the existing Sexual Offences Act has been presented to Cabinet for consideration and is expected to be tabled in Parliament shortly, the Attorney General Levi Peter has said.The review was conducted by a committee led by government’s legal advisor, Ray Harris and presented earlier this year.The Coalition for the Protection of Children and Youth, which comprises of twelve non-governmental organizations, has been advocating for strengthening of the Sexual Offences and Bail Acts, to protect the vulnerable members of society.Child abuse, especially sexual abuse, has been on steadily increasing, statistics from the Social Welfare Division indicates.“There has been great concern in that aspect; there has been some say, an increase in the prevalence of these offences and a call for various changes,” Peter told a special sitting of the High Court to mark the opening of the 2016/2017 law year on Tuesday 20 September 2016. Statistics from the Social Welfare Department indicates that there were one hundred and eighty-nine reported cases of child abuse in 2015. Out of the one hundred and eighty-nine reported cases, one hundred and twenty-eight were sexually related matters and seventy-three cases involved children within the ages of zero to ten years.In addition, statistics indicate that there were one thousand and ninety-five reported cases of child abuse in Dominica between 2010 and 2015.“You may have heard that the government has been involved, engaged in discussions with various stakeholders and you will be happy to know, I’m sure, that there is an amendment to the Sexual Offences Act which will be going to Parliament shortly,” Peter added.He anticipated that at Cabinet sitting on Tuesday, that a date for the next parliament sitting would have been decided upon and that this amendment to the Sexual Offences Act would be added to the Order Paper.“That’s something that I would hope that all of us, as legal professionals in one way or another, will lend our support; those who have to defend will obviously defend within the confines of the law, and those who have to prosecute, I would expect similarly to prosecute within the confines of the law,” Peter noted.“The overall objective of course is to ensure that that type of offending that this piece of legislation is addressing is reduced, if not eliminated from our society,” Peter emphasized. Sharing is caring!last_img

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