Thursday, January 18, 2018

Rowley was not victim-blaming, says AG

...comments taken out of context

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley on his way to the "Conversations with the Prime Minister meeting at Maloney Amphitheatre on Monday night. -Photo: STEPHEN DOOBAY

The Prime Minister's controversial comments last night that women should be careful about the men they get into relations with, were taken out of context, Attorney General Faris has said.

Al Rawi was not of the view that Rowley's comments were crass as it was “said in the context of an explanation”.

Responding to questions at a public discussion on crime in Maloney on Monday night Rowley said:

“You call on the Prime Minister to do something about crime. I'm not in your bedroom. I'm not in your choice of men. You have a responsibility to determine who you associate with and know when to get out. And the State will try to help. But then when the tragedy occurs and it becomes known to the police, the police must now go the extra mile to ensure that there is detection.”

This angered many on social media, both men and women, who accused the Prime Minister of “victim blaming”.

In defending Rowley this morning, following a meeting at Parliament building in Port of Spain, Al Rawi said: “The Prime Minister certainly made a statement in a context and certainly how one edits out the comments and puts it to stand alone can appear stark or not stark.”

“Dr. Rowley is known for speaking in a very straightforward and forthright manner and last night I was at the event and Dr. Rowley went through the background of the domestic violence issues. People having protection orders and, in one case in particular, notwithstanding having the court's assistance and the police assistance for the protection order, he (Rowley) then went on to deal with the issue of a person who breached their own protection order and was tragically murdered in the circumstances.”

Al Rawi added: “It was after going through that run up to the wicked that he said what he had to say. So I ask you to receive what he said in context because it's quite true that we are equally responsible for our own situations. For instance when family members know that someone is going through a difficult period, maybe emotionally, prejudiced, maybe the beneficiary of a protection order, it does require a unified effort. The question which came from the floor had to do with what is the Government doing about stopping incidences like this. But quite frankly, how does a Government go into the physical relationship of a person when there is a protection order, when the police are involved, when the social and probation officers are involved, when the entire family knows of the situation and then the murder is committed. I think he was speaking to the boundaries and practicalities.”