Rape and Domestic Violence: The law criminalizes rape, including spousal rape, and stipulates a sentence of flogging or up to 30 years’ imprisonment for a conviction of any nonconsensual form of sex. Authorities referred charges involving rape or related crimes for prosecution.
According to women’s rights monitors, violence against women remained a serious and pervasive problem. The law prohibits domestic violence and provides for penalties at the discretion of the presiding judge based on the severity of the offense. The law allows for a maximum penalty of 30 years’ imprisonment. The central statistical office reported cases of domestic violence against both women and men. In 2015 there were 696 reported cases of domestic abuse (479 females and 217 males), compared with 257 cases (184 females and 73 males) in 2014. Police and judicial authorities usually acted promptly in cases of domestic violence. Sentences for assault against a spouse vary according to the severity of the incident.
A shelter for battered and abused women and their children operated in the northern part of the country; it was staffed by medical and psychological counseling personnel. Victims and persons seeking to report cases of abuse could contact the Ministry of Social Development and local ministry offices in three parishes and the island of Carriacou. The Grenada National Organization of Women noted that despite an increase in the number of reported cases, domestic violence remained underreported. Many women feared retribution, stigma, or further violence, and most were economically dependent on the perpetrators. The government developed programs to combat gender-based violence. These included sensitizing youth and increasing the number of services to victims of gender-based violence.
Sexual Harassment: The law prohibits sexual harassment, but there were no criminal penalties for it, and the government noted it was a persistent problem. It is the responsibility of the complainant to bring a civil suit against an alleged harasser.
Reproductive Rights: Couples and individuals have the right to decide the number, spacing, and timing of their children; manage their reproductive health; and have access to the information and means to do so, free from discrimination, coercion, or violence.
Discrimination: Women generally enjoyed the same legal status and rights as men, and there was no evidence of formal discrimination in education. The law mandates equal pay for equal work. Justice system officials reported there were no allegations of violations of the equal pay for equal work provision during the year. Television and radio public service announcements continued to combat spousal abuse and raise women’s awareness of their rights.