As nine cases have already been recorded of Guyanese women being murdered, both locally and internationally, so far for 2016, Social Protection Minister Volda Lawrence believes that despite efforts by the Government to significantly reduce these figures by implementing strategic measures, women continue to fall prey to senseless killings mostly at the hands of their partners or jealous lovers.
The issue has been brought to the fore by Minister Lawrence subsequent to the murder of another woman, Candacy Pitt, allegedly by her husband of 13 years, on Friday.
Minister Lawrence in a statement said the country was undergoing an unfortunate phase whereby women have become the primary targets of heinous crimes which continue to burden not only the household of these victims, but the country by extension.
“This signals for us a lamentable negative and a deterrent to our overall national development, for we are losing our most important resource, which is so crucial to the sustainability of our nation,” Lawrence said.
The Minister said that the Government was aware of the quickly escalating issue and has been working to put in place measures that would secure the women of Guyana; however, these efforts seemed not to be working, as the number of women being murdered at the hands of their partners continued to rise.
“It seems that there are wanton murders, that domestic problems are being resolved today with recourse to extremely violent action. No longer can we hear of amicable solutions to our domestic conflicts.”
Considering the importance of having the crisis addressed before another woman suffered the fate of a brutal murder, Lawrence called for a broad-based response to be taken, especially by members of the community. She underscored the significance of healthcare workers and counsellors in tackling the issue at the grassroots level.
“There is no doubt a need for more interaction between members of the community, for more trained counsellors and experienced healthcare workers who can provide a forum whereby those suffering from mental illnesses, depression, family upheavals, abuse, can relieve their stress and communicate their problems and difficulties in an atmosphere of confidentiality,” the Minister said.
In the most recent case of murder, Pitt, 31, also called “Cindy” of Chelsea Park, Mahaica, East Coast Demerara, was hacked to death by her husband of 13 years on June 3.
Pitt was at the time performing security duties at the Bygeval Secondary School.