Domestic violence a community concern

National

DOMESTIC violence must no longer be regarded as a family affair between a husband and wife, a magistrate says.
Buka District Court Magistrate Bruce Tasikul said this last Friday when ordering Edwin Gimots, of Tsintsin village in Hagagohe, to pay his wife Geraldine Gohul K500 as compensation for assaulting her.
Gimots was also ordered to pay a court fine of K300 and was to refrain from committing any act of violence against the plaintiff over the next 12 months.
He pleaded not guilty to the charge.
The court was told that on February 19 this year, Gohul was returning from a church service with two other women when Gimots asked her to follow him.
When she refused, he grabbed her and started hitting her and tore her clothes before dragging her on the ground.
Gohul managed to break out of Gimots’ clutches and escape with the help of other people.
She testified in court that it was not the first time that she had been subjected to violence by Gimots since their marriage 27 years ago.
They have six children.
Tasikul said domestic violence, or violence against women and children, was a serious issue which communities must take ownership of and address.
He said the Family Protection Act 2013 was enacted to address the issue but its implementation would be greatly enhanced if the community got involved.
“This is so people like you, who commit domestic violence against their wife or family, are criminally charged,” Tasikul said.
He told Gimots that he would be jailed for two years if he failed to pay the fine.

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