Categorized | National News

Miller Should Apologise in Parliament

Members of the Bahamas Crisis Centre said Tall Pines Member of Parliament (MP) Leslie Miller should make a public apology to the country in the very same place he made the now infamous remarks about spousal abuse – in the House of Assembly.

During his contribution to the mid-year budget debate in Parliament nearly three weeks ago, Mr. Miller claimed that he once had a girlfriend who felt that he did not love her if he did not beat her.

That comment set off a national debate after Free National Movement (FNM) Deputy Leader Loretta Butler-Turner cried shame on the MP for making the comments and his fellow government MPs for laughing when he said it.

While they said they are thankful that he has since apologised, Crisis Centre members said domestic abuse is no laughing matter and that Mr. Miller should apologise in the House.

“Too many victims in our country don’t feel supported in their reports to authorities for help,” Crisis Centre Director Dr. Sandra Dean-Patterson said.

“Then there are too many victims that are ashamed. They don’t want to talk. They need to know that they live in a country that has made it very clear that does not condone, accept or laugh about somebody else’s pain.”

According to Dr. Dean-Patterson, one out of every four women around the world will become the victim of domestic violence.
She added that 40 per cent of the women who enter Princess Margaret Hospital’s (PMH) Accident and Emergency Room are being treated for violence inflicted by their significant other.

The Crisis Centere Director said sadly, many in the Bahamian community refuse get involved in helping victims leave abusive relationships, citing that they do not want to get involved in “lovers’ quarrels.”

“How can we get to that point as a country where we drive by and see people being hurt, being attacked, hollering and screaming and we don’t do anything to help,” she said.

“We want to eliminate that kind of attitude. We cannot sit by and watch because it’s a boyfriend and girlfriend thing.”
Deral Thompson, a volunteer at the Crisis Centre said he was extremely disappointed that Mr. Miller’s situation was not corrected right then and there.

“We as a nation cannot be so acceptant of this issue of abuse,” he said.

“It’s too common. When the comments were made, we heard laughter. That’s no way for our parliamentarians to be acting. This is a serious matter. The rapes, the molestation, the incest, there are just too many different levels of sexual violence in this country.”

Local Bahamian artist Terneille Burrows, also known as TADA, believes the government should have done something with Mr. Miller following his statements instead of just calling it a “bad joke.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

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