With the recent murders of Andrea Bharatt, Ashanti Riley and others, the people of Trinidad and Tobago are finally recognizing that Violence Against Women is a serious problem that needs to be addressed more affectively.

It’s obvious to anyone paying attention that coordinated and sustained approach is necessary to end violence against women. 

We need to address the underlying causes of violence against women while strenghtening the systems that respond to it. 

In this post, which is by no means comprehensive, I’ve outlined the 3 Ps of ending violence against women- prevent, protect and punish. Keep reading to learn more about each one.


The first of the 3 Ps of ending violence against women is Prevent.

Prevention strategies to end violence against women involves addressing the underlying causes of  violence to stop it before it starts. These strategies are meant to transform attitudes, practices and behaviours that encourage violence against women.

The way parents model relationships to their children, the way in which the media reports on incidents of violence or portrays gender roles, the way in which workplaces, faith-based organizations, or sporting clubs promote (or fail to promote) gender-equality, respect and nondiscrimination all have an effect on the cultural acceptability of violence against women.

Some Examples of Prevention Strategies are

  1. A Public Education Curriculum which includes gender studies from the primary school level.
  2. Registration and regulation of PH taxis to create a system which safeguards women and children from predators
  3. Public and private institutions should partner with relevant NGOs and feminist leaders to provide accessible training and education programs around Gender-Based Violence


The second P in ending violence against women is Protect. 

Prevention alone is not enough. It is necessary for prevention measures to be integrated into a policy driven response to protect the rights of women and girls. 

Research done by the United Nations shows that national efforts to end violence against women are more successful when they are backed by strong legislation to protect women and their rights. 

It is also necessary for states to provide essential services to support and protect survivors.Resources and policies should be expanded to ensure that survivors of GBV have access to services such as social welfare, safe housing and mental health services.

Some Examples of Protection Measures are

  1. Establish and fund shelters and halfway houses for abused women and children across the country.
  2. Increase police presence at taxi-stands to monitor and regulate the presence of PH cars.
  3. Decriminalize non-lethal weapons like pepper-spray.


The third and final P in ending violence against women is Punish.

Our criminal justice system must become more efficient at holding perpetrators accountable. 

While the Domestic Violence Amendment Act expanded legal protections for women, criminal justice services like the police and judicial services have been slow in responding to these changes. This is why a coordinated effort which includes increasing awareness of legislative changes is necessary in ending violence against women in Trinidad and Tobago.

Examples of Punishment Strategies are:

  1. Reform the judicial system to decrease the length of time it takes for matters of GBV to go to trial.
  2. Establish a National Transportation Complaints Authority where passengers can report lawbreaking drivers. 
  3. Make necessary amendments to the Bail Act to prevent repeat offenders of certain GBV crimes from being released on bail.

The research information cited in this post is taken from a study done by the United Nations in Latin America and the Caribbean. You can find the full document here.