KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent — Police in St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) were up to 9 p.m. Sunday searching for a man in connection with the death of a woman.

Stephanie Peters, 25, of Greiggs, died after being stabbed in her neck, a police source told I Witness-News.

Police were looking for  Aubrey Ashton, also of Greiggs, in connection with the death, the source further said.

Peters died on the spot in Greiggs.

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The killing came three days after Minister of Social Development and the Family Maxwell Charles told Parliament, “Statistics are relentlessly being used by the popular press and others to magnify the presence of social ills in our societies”.

Charles was responding to a question from opposition Sen. Anesia Baptiste regarding SVG having the highest number of reported rapes and recorded female homicides in the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States over the last ten 10 years.

“The statistics presented are to be viewed in the context of the overall evidence of attitudinal changes that are taking place in the lives of Vincentians. That persons are becoming more aware and are reporting and are seeking redress for incidences of abuse,” Charles said.

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“We realise that the effective reduction of these growing ill requires a partnership approach by both government, private sector, non-profit and research groups,” he added.

Charles also said the contribution of United Nation’s organisations cannot be overlooked in the fight to stamp out gender-based violence in SVG.

A reduction in gender-based violence is influenced by several factors, including socio-economic status, Charles said, adding that his government is working towards a national action plan and family planning programme.

He further detailed programmes that his ministry has undertaken to build awareness “at the grassroots level”.

Charles further stated that in 2001, when the Unity Labour Party came to office, there was “a paradigm shift from a woman in development approach to a more inclusive one, a gender and developmental approach which focuses on social, economical, political and cultural development”.

He said his government is networking with national, regional and international partners to expand coverage in this area.