Breaking the Cycle of Domestic Violence; Evil Behind Closed Doors: Afro-Caribbean Community Addressed in Drive to Stop Abuse

The Birmingham Post (England), December 13, 2000 | Go to article overview

Breaking the Cycle of Domestic Violence; Evil Behind Closed Doors: Afro-Caribbean Community Addressed in Drive to Stop Abuse


Byline: Emma Brady

Home Office Minister Paul Boateng yesterday said the Government was committed to stop the 'evil' of domestic violence.

Speaking in Birmingham to women's group Breathe, Mr Boateng said Labour was determined to tackle violence against women.

He acknowledged that women from all cultures and races were being subjected to mental cruelty and physical abuse, but said there were only a handful of groups specifically set up to help victims from Afro-Caribbean and ethnic minorities.

Breathe, which was set up by the Scarman Trust's Health Programme in May, offers support services for women who have suffered domestic violence in the city's Afro-Caribbean community.

Mr Boateng said education programmes for children and teenagers should be introduced to ensure they respected their peers and realised all violence was unacceptable.

He said: 'Domestic violence goes on in a cycle, but we are here to break that cycle. We can't allow generation after generation to be infected with this evil, because that's what it is - evil.

'It can be found in every sector of society, every walk of life, so we need to be up front about this issue and should not be afraid to talk about it.

'There are no excuses for our community to pretend this isn't an issue. Black people are stereotyped enough without being portrayed as perpetrators or victims of violence.

'In addition to being seen as victims of racism and sexism, how often can women be portrayed as victims?'

Breathe's domestic violence programme involves women, including many victims, and representatives from various agencies including Birmingham Voluntary Service Council and Birmingham Health Authority.

Mr Boateng said the Government would take a tough stance on domestic violence, for which he said there were no mitigating circumstances.

In August, pounds 7 million in grants was allocated to projects around Britain as part of its Crime Reduction Project, with pounds 630,000 awarded to three Midland schemes. …

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