End violence against women!
Guyana Chronicle
November 26, 2002

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Yesterday, the world marked ‘International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women’ and we join with the local and international community in supporting the theme ‘Not a Minute More.’

For too long now defenseless women have been suffering at the hands of men, who in most, if not all cases, carry out their acts of brutality to prove they are the domineering factor over women.

A visit to any magistrate’s court, especially those in the rural areas will bring shocking revelations, especially when it comes to violence against women.

Many Guyanese believe that the penalty for this type of offence is by far too light, and should be looked into forthwith with a view of having harsher penalties against any man who carries out acts of violence against women.

Apart from the battering some women receive at the hands of men, children in homes where these acts of cruelty and abuse occur, suffer traumatic experiences when they witness these horrible acts, without being able to render any assistance because of fear for their own lives.

Some research evidence, while not conclusive, suggest that children who are abused or who witness such abuse grow up to be adult abusers themselves.

What sort of ‘beats’ are we dealing with, who, without rhyme or reason pounce on women and commit the most dastardly acts of violence against them?

Most people believe that this kind of behaviour leaves an indelible scar on children who witness such brutality, and would grow up with a certain degree of hate for their own fathers, some of whom indulge in these activities at the risk of breaking up homes and families in the process.

We believe that it is not too late for new and effective measures to be put in place without delay to end the sordid attacks against women.

Many Guyanese could not agree more with Minister within the Ministry of Labour, Human Services and Social Security, Ms Bibi Shadick, who in a special message to mark the day said it is also a chance to remind the International Community that its commitment and action to end gender-based violence must be intensified to meet future challenges.

She continued quite gratifyingly: “ In Guyana, the Ministry of Labour, Human Services and Social security, as part of its continuing efforts to eliminate gender-based violence recently conducted a training programme for 72 male and female community volunteers, in Region Two (Pomeroon/Supenaam, in collaboration with UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund).

This is indeed a positive development, which we welcome and would like to suggest that similar training programmes be conducted in other regions.

All Guyanese also appreciate the fact that the Domestic Violence ACT of 1996 continues to be in focus and work is continuing to ensure the application of the ACT among members of the Police Force and Judiciary. Activities also continue to promote among the general public, awareness of rights under the ACT.

All Guyanese would agree that for too long, women have been enduring this nightmare, sometimes before the very eyes of their girl children, who cannot do anything but look on in agony.

They must no longer suffer at the hands of “beastly priests.” Women and children must be protected against these evils of society. Women must let them understand that they are prepared to be brutalised Not a Minute More.

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