Although progress has been made in the Caribbean Region in promoting gender equality, there are still many aspects which remain unresolved, chief among these being sexual violence against women, young girls, and boys. The region experiences high levels of sexual and domestic violence, which are often underreported and ineffectively dealt with by the justice system.
The present approach by the justice system to persons who have been sexually assaulted in many cases, leaves the survivor with a sense of betrayal. Preliminary hearings, where untrained police or court clerks often lead evidence, frequently, if unwittingly, traumatize survivors of sexual assault. Personnel are often insensitive to the trauma that survivors and witnesses experience when they are forced to relive the crime during the investigation and prosecution of a criminal case, particularly while they are testifying in court. Delays in the criminal justice system also mean that survivors may experience this trauma over a span of several years.
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