On Friday November 24, 2017, the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines was informed that there was an incident of domestic violence on the said day involving Mr. Sehon Marshall and his wife, Mrs. Xandra Marshall at their home in New York City, USA.
Mr. Marshall holds an office of Counsellor at the SVG Permanent Mission to the United Nations, and his wife was recently-appointed to serve as Deputy Consul General of the SVG Consulate in New York City but which falls under the SVG Diplomatic Mission to the USA in Washington, D.C. The formal instruments for Mrs. Marshall’s appointment had not been issued.
As a result of the incident Mrs. Marshall reported the matter to the Police in New York City which accordingly intervened within the context of domestic and international law.
Over the weekend both the Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister have been in touch with Mr. and Mrs. Marshall and their respective principals in New York.
The GOSVG thus has a mature understanding of the facts and circumstances of the incident.
Arising from this matter are two over-riding principles which guide the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines (GOSVG). First, the GOSVG has an unequivocally strong stance against domestic violence as is reflected in its policies and programmes. Indeed, recently a very robust Domestic Violence Bill was passed into law which strengthens immensely the fight against domestic violence.
Secondly, this incident involving two diplomatic representatives of the GOSVG and which was reported to the Police in New York City was thus metamorphosed from a purely private matter between husband and wife to one which touches and concerns, among other things, inter-state relations and the praxis of diplomacy between St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the United States of America.
Thus, in accordance with these guiding principles and a mature understanding of all the facts and circumstances, the GOSVG has acted in the following, among other relevant ways:
- Instructed both Mr. and Mrs. Marshall immediately not to report to work at their respective offices until further notice.
- Summoned Mr. Marshall to return to St. Vincent and the Grenadines for consultations forthwith.
- Decided to treat this matter with the utmost seriousness and to pursue all alive legal options.
The GOSVG through appropriate diplomatic channels will continue to communicate with the relevant authorities in the USA on this matter.
The GOSVG condemns unreservedly the occurrence of this incident of domestic violence and regrets that a young family (including three children aged 13 years to 3 years) of real promise has been adversely affected by this trauma. We offer prayers for the family at this extremely challenging time for them.