Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs.
PHILIPSBURG--Reducing the possibilities of domestic abuse occurring in homes during the currently two-week lockdown was the primary reason behind the move by authorities to temporarily suspend the sale and purchase of alcohol.
Prime Minister and Chairperson of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Silveria Jacobs said on Sunday that reports were being received that there had been an increase in cases of abuse occurring in homes. She said persons are under stress in the current situation and she had been advised that the use of alcohol exacerbates violence in the home and government wanted to diminish this. Hence the introduction of a temporary suspension on the sale and purchase of alcohol at this time.
She said children are not in school and are therefore unable to report incidents that occur. Children and other persons in the home are in need of protection. She said while some cases of abuse occur outside of the home, most cases take place “between the four walls of our homes” and the culture of silence is not helping the situation.
“We would like to do our best to protect everyone,” she said, noting that while alcohol may be a “vice” for some it can also lead to aggressive behaviour in others. She maintained that the measures to ban the sale is for the “greater good” and for the the protection of the community. St. Maarten won’t be in this phase much longer and for persons who rely on alcohol, she urged them to take up another hobby temporarily.