Battle against domestic violence will not succeed without public support – Gov’t

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Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Jennifer Webster.
Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Jennifer Webster.

In light of the increased number of gender based violence and murders, the Human Services Ministry is again imploring the perpetrators to seek help through the government system or non-governmental organizations.

The ministry stressed that while these incidences are preventable, they require much effort from perpetrators, victims, communities, civil society, Government and other partners.

Domestic Violence, the ministry reminded is everybody’s business.

For its part, the Ministry has been independently and in collaboration with its partners, addressing the scourge of domestic violence through training, advocacy, sensitization and awareness programmes.

And in keeping with their mandate the Ministry through many of its sections/departments has launched a multi-dimensional, multi-faceted approach to deal with this problem in a holistic manner.

This involves officers of the Probation and Social Services Department working in communities across the country to sensitize the public about the services available to victims, provide counseling services to victims and perpetrators and makes community members more aware of their social responsibility to report cases of Gender-Based Violence that occur in their respective communities.

In the last two years, the Men’s Affairs Bureau has been working with young boys and men in schools, sports clubs and football teams to address issues such as anger management, domestic violence prevention and interactions with the opposite sex via the “No More Black and Blue” and the “Red Card Domestic Violence” campaigns.

The Ministry has worked in more than 30 schools and communities reaching more than 20,000 boys and men. Meanwhile, the Women’s Affairs Bureau through its regional arm, the Regional Women’s Affairs Committees, continues advocacy against gender-based and domestic violence through their domestic violence prevention programs.

In addition, the Bureau continues to host sensitization sessions through Faith Based Organizations on many issues such as conflict and anger management, and exiting situations involving domestic violence.

The ministry is also providing financial support to Help and Shelter with an annual subvention of $10 million, for the daily operation of the home for survivors of domestic violence.

And through the Guyana Legal Aid Clinics, the Ministry provides legal advice and services to the survivors and perpetrators of domestic violence in four coastal regions.

However, the ministry acknowledged that all of the work and services mentioned will not reap results without the assistance and cooperation of members of all communities and victims of domestic violence.

In this regard the general public is urged to report the incidents wherever and whenever they occur to the nearest police station or to the Ministry.

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