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Clinical Psychologist Dianne Douglas during her interview on CNC3’s Morning Brew, yesterday.

One way to combat violence against women in the T&T is to change the cultural norms of the country said Psychologist, Dr Dianne Douglas.

She said the country has to come to terms with how people deal with social issues like romance and marriages.

“We have not taken a serious look at how we choose life partners. There is a very real conversation that has to take place. Even with the Carnival season upon us adults tell many, many stories of people they meet under the influence of alcohol,” she told CNC3’s Morning Brew host, Hema Ramkissoon, yesterday.

Douglas also said that there is the cultural perception in T&T that when a man and woman get together, one owns the other.

“In our society, the ownership goes in one direction. The man now owns the women in a particular way. We are not talking about every single man is like that, but we are talking about a particular view.”

She added that statistics show that being a female puts women at greater risk of domestic violence and other forms of abuse.

Douglas also said even if there is violence in a relationship and two people are living together it is not very easy for one partner to leave because of factors like children and money.

She advised people who are assisting couples with such problems to act with “humility.”

She spoke about the Family Court that had a programme for women who have been victimized by violence and are in the Court system and there is a possibility that this programme will be revived.

“One of the things that we did for that programme was to compile a manual. If you feel that choices are being taken away from you, that is a sign. Another sign is how do you feel about yourself in the relationship,” she said.