Last week, the Minister for the Interior and Kingdom Relations, Plasterk, replied to questions of the Christian Union related to domestic violence in the Dutch Caribbean. An article in the Amigoe led to the questions. In this article, Chris Palm, Director of the Center for youth and family on Bonaire, suggested that families had to be involved in solving domestic violence.
Gert-Jan Segers and Joël Voordewind of the ChristianUnion in the Second Chamber wanted to learn from Plasterk what the current policy in the Dutch Caribbean is related to combating domestic violence.
The Minister stated that ‘ the approach of domestic violence cannot be considered in isolation from the overall approach to the social problems on the islands ‘. According to Plasterk there are not only “judicial measures”, but one also needs to look at prevention and support. He informed that, on Saba and Statia, a social worker had been appointed. With a grant from the Ministry of security and justice is a Safe House is being constructed on Bonaire.
According to Plasterk’s letter, an important link in addressing domestic violence, is the integrated approach within the neighborhood. In the districts, teams are to use the ‘ behind the front door-methodology ‘ to get an idea of the problems within the families. In addition, initiatives are deployed to increase the resilience of young people in relational and sexual issues. It is decided to install a task force to address children’s rights and domestic violence issues in the Caribbean Netherlands.
The Minister considers it important to make use of the small scale infrastructure of the Islands for linking the care and the judicial chain directly to one another. “In addition, it is necessary that the support chain is strengthened. This means that, among other things, investing in the professional development of social workers, providing information and setting up prevention activities. This also reflected in the plans of action to combat domestic violence. The Islands are committed to strengthening the prevention and support efforts. ”
Three million euros have been ear marked for improving children’s rights in the Caribbean Netherlands. Structural resources have been budgeted for addressing domestic violence.
The Netherlands supports the initiative for a so-called “Own Power-Conference”. This autumn, the Center for Youth and Families of Bonaire wants to organize a conference on this subject on the island. Own Power focuses on involving the people themselves in troubleshooting. Plasterk: “If the Conference proves to be a success, then the results will be shared with the other islands.”