Update to Responses to Information Requests VCT21276.F of 6 October 1995 and VCT22065.F of 10 October 1995 on the protection available to victims of rape and domestic violence [VCT25069.E]

The following information was provided during a 31 October 1996 interview with the Coordinator of Women's Affairs at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Women's Affairs in Kingstown. Further to the information she provided on avenues of redress for victims of rape and domestic violence in Response to Information Request VCT21276.F of 6 October 1995, the Coordinator stated that in her opinion since October 1995 there has been no significant change nor improvement in the situation concerning domestic violence. It is true that the passage of the Domestic Violence Act of 1995 allows for further avenues of legal redress, but the Coordinator clarified that although in theory legal recourse and protection are available to women, in practice they do not exist. She gave as an example the case of a woman murdered in 1995 during a festival in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Following a domestic dispute, the woman was shot by her partner in front of the central police station, in the presence of police officers. The Coordinator asserted that this event illustrated a widespread lack of respect for the law. Last week the perpetrator's sentence of manslaughter was reduced to five years. The Coordinator explained that representatives of women's groups, including two female members of parliament, will demonstrate in front of the high court on 1 November 1996 to protest the reduction of the manslaughter sentence and to demand the removal of the perpetrator from St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Country Reports 1995 indicates that a family court was established under the Domestic Violence Act of 1995 in order to accelerate judicial treatment of such cases (1996, 523-24). Further, in May 1995 the child support law was amended to allow for court-ordered payments despite filing of appeals (ibid., 524).

For information on a rape victim from St. Vincent and the Grenadines who faced deportation from Canada in January 1996, please consult the attached articles.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the DIRB within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum.


Department of Education, Youth and Women's Affairs, Kingstown. 31 October 1996. Telephone interview with Coordinator of Women's Affairs.

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 1995. 1996. United States Department of State. Washington, DC: United States Government Printing Office.


The Montreal Gazette [Montréal]. 8 January 1996. "Rape Victim 'in Danger' if Deported." (NEXIS)

_____. 4 January 1996. Jeff Heinrich. "'If I Go Back, I Will Die'" Raped in Homeland, Woman Fights Deportation." (NEXIS)