Gruesome murders overshadow drop in Suriname domestic violence

(de Ware Tijd) PARAMARIBO – The drop in domestic violence has continued in 2012. As of the third quarter of this year, police have registered 1,070 cases. Police spokesman Humphrey Naarden does not assume the record of 1,459 cases in 2011 will be broken. This drop does not cause euphoria, however. “The gruesome murders committed this year overshadow this progress,” says Carl Breeveld, adviser of the foundation Man Mit’ Man. Breeveld refers to high-profile cases in which women were killed by their partner. A recent case is that of Richi G. who killed his partner Charlene Mertowirijo in broad daylight with a hunting rifle. Last week, Monalisa Prince was found dead in her apartment and her boyfriend is the chief suspect.

“Such murders are nothing new in the world, and I wonder how it is possible that Suriname has not anticipated these murderous men,” says legislator Harish Monorath. As a member of the permanent committee for Justice and Police, he keeps a close eye on these developments. He soon realized that more investments must be made in mental health care. “In this way, we can determine in time whether men are mentally healthy and prevent such murders.” The recently approved budget includes SRD 70 million for mental health care, yet Monorath says this is not enough. “When 2011 turned into 2012, we saw that financing had not had any effect. Aid for victims, counseling of families and a uniform interpretation of the stalking law should be means of support.”

The foundation Man Mit’ Man has been working on a long-term solution for years. “We are considering more than just domestic violence. We help men function better in society. Preventing violence within a relationship and how to deal with anger is obviously part of it,” Breeveld explains. Direct help can be provided to the perpetrators if this is requested

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