Preface A central role of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) Subregional Headquarters for the Caribbean is the provision of critical thinking and information to governments to assist in policy formulation and evaluation. In meeting that role, ECLAC emphasises the research endeavour and, more particularly, research which elicits new insights and throws up practical solutions and recommendations. This study was undertaken as a component of technical assistance to the Family Law and Domestic Violence Legislative Reform Project piloted by the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court. This project is a far-reaching initiative which aims at the reform of family and child law, so as to meet the obligations and normative standards set out in the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. ECLAC has welcomed the opportunity to work collaboratively on this project and acknowledges the support given to the research process by the project administrators and by the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court.