International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and Girls

Honourable Minister Dr. Vindhya Persaud
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Dr. Vindhya Persaud

Every day we fight a silent and insidious battle against violence meted out to women and girls. 17 lives have already been lost this year, 43 children are motherless, but still, not many women admit to being victims of violence.
Domestic Violence remains a taboo, shuttered behind closed doors and only emerging as bloody faces, bruised limbs, broken spirits and dead bodies. Fear of societal judgement, insecurities about children and finances, family pressure and manipulation keeps this a hushed conversation or results in an overwhelming silence.
Is it love to batter someone to unconsciousness or death? How can beating or emotional and mental torture be justified as love? The Covid-19 pandemic has kept many women in proximity to their abusers and reporting has become challenging. Fists, knives, guns, hurtful words continue to be used instead of discussion or counseling.
We all know that violence against women is a heinous crime, that it is a pervasive breach of human rights! Yet, it continues to be one of the longest, hardest challenges to the world, and involves psyches, attitudes, poverty, cultures, emotional manipulation, substance abuse and lack of education. While we struggle to find the solution, women continue to cower in fear, tell doctors that they fell down the stairs to explain injuries from merciless beatings and lawyers and case workers should continue to plead with them to stay away from their perpetrators.
This is 2020, we can do better. All of us …that’s right ..you and I must work in every home, school, office, community, in every part of our country to expose violence against women where it exists, support the women, work with the perpetrators, create safe spaces, educate persons and share solutions….#enough with the violence.
Stand with me and the MHSSSS in our zero tolerance campaign against violence against women #enoughwiththeviolence…I truly believe we can bring an end to this seemingly unending spate of violence – TOGETHER….
Join the movement on social media and across the country as we launch the 16 DAYS OF ACTIVISM in Guyana today, November 25 on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and Girls. We must “Orange the world: Fund, Prevent, Respond, Collect, as this year’s theme advocates - No more beating, no more hurting, no more killing of our women …


FUND
No more violence against women in the dark –the Spotlight is on it through a one billion Guyana dollars by the European Union/United Nations Spotlight investment in strategic and catalytic programmes to address the root causes of violence against women and develop strong safety nets to support women in violent circumstances over a three year-period.
PREVENT
Today, I launch a primary prevention campaign aimed at reducing violence against women - #enoughwiththeviolence. Our stance together will create an umbrella of protection for legions of women. We must be the hope for children so that will not have to live without the love of their mothers and we must be the conscience of a country that will not tolerate an iota of violence against women. #enoughwiththeviolence
Our campaign needs every one of you to implement the zero - tolerance policy for violence against women.
RESPOND
The 914 emergency hotline will be launched in December and will link survivors to agencies, advocacy programs, referral pathways, microenterprise industries, public-private skills employment database matching and offer immediate help to extricate them from violent situations. I cannot overemphasize how important it is to report every incidence of violence, your report can save a life.
The 24 Hour Hotline Operators will offer support, referral to victims and survivors, family, friends and professionals via an integration of the services available at both the Domestic Violence Unit and the Childcare and Protection Agency.
Nine Social Workers were trained through the Survivors Advocacy Programme, to offer emotional support and crisis counselling to victims of domestic and sexual violence and act on the victim’s behalf when necessary.
COLLECT
A sustained multi-sectoral approach and critical partnerships with civil society organizations and other stakeholders will create the momentum to stop this relentless escalation of violence. A centralized database system will be developed in the first quarter of 2021 to facilitate information sharing and capture reports in a systematic manner to guide intervention and program and policy development.
Orange symbolizes strength and endurance. We are prepared with aggressive prevention and intervention campaigns and legislative frameworks to ultimately eliminate violence against women and girls. #together #becauseviolenceisunacceptable – let us orange the world.
We owe it to all the women out there who lost their lives.