Home Letters Citizens need to be aware of sexual predators, gender-based abusers
The Caribbean Voice lauds the Government — especially Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Dr. Vindhya Persaud, and First Lady Arya Ali and her office — for the strides being made and for the plans that are to be implemented for the physically challenged community in Guyana.
In this context, isn’t it time for all public buildings to be made accessible to the disabled?
We also laud the University of Guyana, and more specifically Dr Paloma Mohamed, for pioneering the step to introduce a module on domestic violence prevention which would be available to the entire university community. We sincerely hope every student would seize this opportunity to become part of the solution to this scourge.
However, we also join with the many who have expressed shock and disappointment at UG’s association with alcohol promotion and sale. While we do understand the need to garner funds, and recognise the significant role played by DDL in this respect, both these entities must realise that this alcohol alliance is awful, and sends so many wrong messages. There is urgent need to rethink and reframe that alliance, so that UG does not directly become a purveyor and promoter of alcohol sale and consumption.
As well, some years ago, UWI Lecturer Dr. Katija Khan informed The Caribbean Voice that she was involved as a consultant in helping UG to implement a Masters in Psychology programme, following the introduction of the degree programme in Psychology. So, would it be possible for UG to inform on the status of that masters’ programme that has been in the works for years? It is moot to remind that one needs a minimum of a Masters in Psychology along with at least one year of supervised clinical practice to be considered a Professional Clinical Counselor.
Meanwhile, we join with so many others in urging that the often-farcical legal verdicts for those found guilty of acts of domestic and sexual abuse need to be urgently addressed. Far too often, perpetrators get away with little more than a slap on the wrist, and while we understand that each case is different and judges and magistrates interpret and apply the law as they see fit, surely such application should start with minimum sentences that do not water down the seriousness of such crimes, nor result in head-scratching verdicts that seem so dismissive of the crimes committed.
Can the Honourable Minister Dr. Vindhya Persaud get with Attorney General and other cabinet members and related entities to provide the judiciary with guidelines in this respect? As it is, victims are already far too leery of the Police and the courts.
Perhaps, too, it’s time to finally launch that registry of sexual abusers, and also a registry of perpetrators of gender-based violence and femicide, which is becoming a growing trend globally. The Childcare and Protection Agency was supposed to have launched a registry of child sexual abusers years ago, and The Caribbean Voice had also been informed that one for adult sexual abusers was also being planned. Isn’t it much more logical and convenient to simply have one registry?
Citizens need to be aware of both sexual predators and gender-based abusers when such persons enter their communities, so that they can raise the alert level and become proactive.