Categorized | National News

Victims’ Advocates Demand PM Take A Stand

The recent remarks made by Tall Pines MP Leslie Miller which made light of the issue of domestic violence have prompted an online petition from a coalition of groups seeking an apology from the prime minister over the incident.

Three organisations – “Holla Back Bahamas,” “Citizens for a Better Bahamas,” and “Bahamas Against Sexual Violence and Child Abuse,” will hold a peaceful demonstration in Rawson Square this Wednesday, according to Tenielle Burrows, group organiser.

“Essentially we’re just petitioning to the prime minister to speak out and make a firm stand as well as give us an indication of the way forward so that we don’t have any instance of this happening again as well as so we know as women and children in the general Bahamian public we feel safe and know that violence is not made a joke of even by the leaders of our country,” Ms. Burrows said.

She added that the fact that Mr. Miller’s comments were accepted in the House of Assembly as a joke is deeply disturbing and harmful to victims of abuse.

While Mr. Miller has been the MP singled out in this instance, Ms. Burrows hinted that the entire Parliament may be in need of a reality check.

“We feel as though Mr. Miller’s remarks should not just be isolated to him because the speaker of the House instead of reprimanding him or denouncing the statements then and there nipping Mr. Miller’s statements in the bud qualified them by labeling them a joke,” she said.

“Having done that, we feel as though we should make a firm stance to say to the government and the leaders of our country that no – we do not regard violence as a joke particularly in the place where our laws are made.”

Last week Mr. Miller apologised for his off-coloured remarks and made a $1,000 cash donation to The Bahamas Crisis Centre.

That donation has since been rejected by the centre which noted that accepting Mr. Miller’s cheque would have sent the wrong message.

Ms. Burrows supports the Crisis Centre’s refusal of the donation noting that as the country’s largest and most recognisable advocate of victims’ rights, the centre needed to demonstrate thoughtfulness.

“I think the Crisis Centre just did not want to insult anyone by responding irrationally to something like that,” she said.

“I think they are probably consulting with whoever their advisors are and just trying to figure out a more solid plan of action so it’s not like a quick-fix or band-aid solution but a more long-term solution to the same effect that we’re trying to get to change the mindsets of people against thinking that violence is acceptable.”
The group’s petition can be viewed at

Written by Jones Bahamas

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