By Javan Flowers
Leader of the Opposition Hon. Patrick Faber should resign, Hon. Dolores Balderamos Garcia said, today, during a five-minute video statement condemning gender-based violence.
Balderamos Garcia also joins Special Envoy for the Development of Families and Children Rossana Briceño in condemning Faber's "intimate partner violence perpetrated against a series of women."
In Garcia's opening statement, she expressed profound disheartenment that yet another complainant has found herself in a position of not wishing to pursue the charges that are based on her report. Garcia added, "Too many victims find themselves in this position—whether through self-doubt, fear, criticism, or coercion."
This, according to Garcia, underscores the point that gender-based violence "is not a women's issue. Domestic violence is not a private matter; it is a serious public health and social issue. [It is] a crime that affects every member of our community, and we all have a role in addressing it."
Garcia closed her statement by highlighting that "for the full realization of women safety and security, our rights and our empowerment it is no longer enough to simply condemn." She strongly advised that the only honorable course of action left for the Leader of the Opposition is to provide his resignation.
Along with Garcia's statement, Briceño also issued a release echoing the position of Garcia and United Democratic Party (UDP) Chairman Hon. Michael Peyrefitte.
In her statement, Briceño supports the call for Faber's resignation. "The events of last week's news of the domestic altercation involving the Leader of the Opposition must be strongly condemned by all," Briceño said. "My office supports the call for his resignation. This recent incident resulted in a warrant for his arrest and with the complainant withdrawing the charges, which unfortunately is a very common occurrence in the cycle of abuse."
The statement added that the Special Envoy's office remains resolute in ensuring that the necessary changes to the law are made. The office will also provide heightened awareness through public campaigns and the education system.