A new regulation, established under the Anti-Domestic Abuse Law, provides additional discretionary powers upon council authorities.
The discretion for councils come due to them acting as agents to the Ministry of Gender, Family and Social Services.
The law which was put on gazette on Sunday, September 24, extends to the regulation of council discretions. The regulation demands council bodies to sign with the state to act as agents to report domestic abuse cases to respective police stations in the islands.
As agents, the council authorities are mandated with facilitating a safe environment for domestic abuse victims, which it should procure with the support of and in accordance to the instructions of the ministry. The council authorities are also tasked with maintaining statistics of domestic abuse cases reported in their respective islands.
Councils are required to submit domestic abuse cases to the ministry via a designated form, while disclosing personal credentials of the victims on media has been legally criminalized.
The regulation also enforces confidentiality of victim credentials when its submitted for investigation or on court orders.
The regulation will come into force three months from now, and all council employees involved should undergo the necessary training before the regulation's implementation begins.
This also marks the first time council authorities have been granted discretionary powers under the anti-domestic abuse law.