Women must protect themselves against abuse – official

Kaieteur News
February 24, 2007

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The onus is on all women to ensure that they engage in activities that could protect their well-being instead of indulging in those that could expose them to certain violence.

This notion was voiced by a Ministry of Human Services official who noted that some women are guilty of indulging in relationships that have the potential to become hostile for various underlying reasons.

The official's remarks came in wake of the recent disappearance and subsequent reappearance of a young West Coast Demerara woman.

The woman had reportedly left work one day and did not return home leaving her family to think the worse and even reporting her disappearance to police and seeking the assistance of the media.

After reading of the family's plight in this newspaper an observant citizen was instrumental in informing the family and police that the young woman was alive and well in an East Coast Demerara village. According to a relative of the perceived missing woman, she had eloped with a man who has since requested her hand in marriage.

But according to the official this very act of disregarding the concerns of family and friends and venturing out without informing anyone could prove to be very detrimental for some women.

The official explained that there are instances when a young woman would go after a relationship with the hope of finding love and sometimes find the total opposite.

The official further said that often women find themselves trapped in such situations with no way of escaping since they have no one but the ‘entrapper' to rely on.

Relationships starting in such manners account for a substantial number of reported cases of domestic violence, according to the official.

While physical abuse is the highest recorded form of domestic violent there are also verbal and emotional abuses, the official asserted.

This according to the official, in many cases, causes women to lose their self-esteem where some even contemplate suicide. And there are also those cases where women can become victims of foul play in secretive relationships, the official said.

These inhumane actions against women can result, according to official, when their partners attempt to take full control of the relationship since the women's families are no longer in the picture to defend them.

As such, the official warned that young women and even young men should endeavour to control the path of their lives and seek not to be lured into relationships unless they have been approved by their relatives.

The official noted though, that while ensuring that relatives are aware, this does not mean that the ‘fear factors' will be prevented.

In this regard women should ensure that they take early steps to prevent abuse by informing the relevant authorities and escape the wrath of an abusive partner at all