In its pursuit to track and provide services to victims of sexual violence, the Ministry of Social Protection in collaboration with the Canadian Government, commissioned its Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Unit, today.
The unit is located at the Ministry’s Cornhill Street office. Minister of Social Protection, Volda Lawrence, and Minister in the Ministry, Keith Scott and Canada’s High Commissioner to Guyana, H.E. Pierre Giroux were among those present at the event.
The Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI), as part of an agreement with the Government of Guyana and Canada, provided the equipment to furnish the unit. This agreement also provides support to the hinterland, especially indigenous communities in responding to issues of rape, gender based violence, trafficking in persons and domestic violence.
During brief remarks, Minister Lawrence expressed gratitude to the Canadian Government for affording the Ministry the opportunity to fast track the unit’s establishment.
This division, she explained will be able to give support, not only to Government’s policy makers, but to victims of domestic violence. “This morning, it is really an accomplishment by the Ministry of Social Protection…we are here to stop domestic violence and so …we begin with the first step,” Minister Lawrence explained.
Under the theme of gender issues and violence against women, Canada has been supporting Guyana over the years, said High Commissioner Giroux. He noted that Canada is pleased to be associated with such initiatives, which seek to tackle domestic violence and to lend support to victims.
The unit aims to increase reporting of cases of abuse, investigation and prosecution of sexual violence crimes and the provision of data analysis on trend and patterns of sexual violence in Guyana. (GINA)