Harsher penalties must be used to stop violence against women – Minister Persaud

Human Services and Social Security Minister, Dr Vindhya Persaud is calling for violence against women to be stopped through intervention and greater penalties as prescribed in the law.
In a social media post following the spate of domestic violence cases, some of which ended in murder, the Minister condemned recent reports whereby women were killed at the hands of their partners. She added that these incidents further affect others in the household, especially children.
“The continuing horrific murder of women in Guyana by their husbands and partners needs to stop. Each of their lives is priceless. If there is a disagreement and she wants to leave because of years of abuse, let her. If there is an argument, do not use your fists or weapons or words to harm or kill. She is not your property to be used and abused. Her life matters to all of us in this country,” Dr Persaud outlined.
The Minister called on persons in abusive relationships to seek help immediately before the situation is fatal. There are several mechanisms, through shelters and programmes, which women can use to find refuge.
“I appeal again to people, when you know someone is living with an abusive partner, maybe for some reason they can’t report it – you call 914 before they end up dead! If it’s your family member or friend call, report or encourage them to call 914. We are ready to help – with shelter or whatever is needed to get them out of the abuse that turns deadly quickly.”
Law enforcement officials were advised to report these matters and treat them with seriousness. According to Dr Persaud, the full extent of the law should be imposed on those culpable of such offences to prevent a recurrence.
“I appeal to the Police to take those reports and treat them with all seriousness and do not dismiss, ignore or be unjust to persons who report abuse. We will continue to provide training for the Police…The law has the provision for harsher penalties and must be used as it was intended to stop this violence. When women and girls continue to be murdered, the entire country is in pain.”
She added, “Join me and help us to stop this senseless slaughter of our women by their significant others – report it, encourage them to leave and get to safety and call 914. No system is perfect, but we must keep on trying and working together until we save each life. This fight requires all the people, the law and all the agencies to work together.”
On Saturday night, the body of 44-year-old Nicola Sueanna Wilson, a mother of four, was found lifeless after she was brutally stabbed by her boyfriend before making his escape.
The incident occurred at the woman’s Lot 57 D’Urban Street, Lodge, Georgetown home.
The suspect, Lawrence Brummell, a plumber who shared a relationship with the woman for over 10 years, then reportedly left the scene and drank a poisonous substance. He died the following day.
One day prior, the decomposed body of 20-year-old Shonette Dover, a bartender of Canvas City, Linden, was discovered in a shallow grave in her boyfriend’s backyard one month after she went missing.
The body was reportedly found after the victim’s 15-year-old sister who witnessed the murder broke her silence during interrogation. She confessed that she saw when the suspect, Shaquawn Alleyne shot her sister, and later dug a hole in his backyard and buried her sister.