The Ministry of Human Services and Social Security is recognising domestic violence awareness month by hosting ‘Purple Day’ on October 20 to spread awareness of the effects of domestic violence and initiatives that address the issue.
This was disclosed by Head of the Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Policy Unit, Dr Cona Husbands during a radio interview on Tuesday.
She noted that Guyana has one of the highest rates of domestic violence in the Caribbean with one in two women being affected while the rest of the Caribbean has a one in three ratio.
“Fifty-five per cent of women have endured some form of violence in their life and this is based on a study done in 2018. So, we recognise there is a need to raise awareness and let the public know that you do not have to endure domestic violence and there is help for you,” she emphasised.
Additionally, Domestic Violence Month activities will feature family engagement sessions and continued radio announcements to spread awareness.
Meanwhile, Dr Husbands highlighted a series of initiatives available to victims of domestic violence offered by the Human Services Ministry.
These initiatives include the Survivors Advocates, which is tailored to provide victims with the assistance and support needed to start anew. As such over 2,000 women and men have received relief since the launch of the programme last year, with numbers steadily increasing.
The CopSquad2000 training programme was conceptualised to enhance the level of care, sensitivity and policing protocols offered to victims of gender-based violence.
“We have measures in place for persons to leave because it is not something that you should endure at all,” she acknowledged.
These measures include shelters, rent assistance and food supplies for victims who were removed from their residences until they were able to get back on their feet. [DPI]