Recently, four of our sisters were brutally attacked by their spouses resulting in their hospitalisation and desperate fights for their lives. A fifth sister was mercilessly killed by a stalker who refused to take “No!” for an answer. Yet another sister was brutally attacked by her partner while accompanying a rural constable to serve what is described as “a restraining order”.
Given that everyone is aware of root causes of the problem and the requirements to address it, expounding in front of microphones and cameras should urgently give way to proactive measures to reduce the incidences of gender-based violence. Replace talk by solutions now!
Over the years, The Caribbean Voice has partnered with over 200 different entities to raise awareness, host workshops and outreaches, engage in advocacy and information dissemination and offer counselling and other assistance. During the Sixteen Days of Activism Against Domestic Violence held annually from November 25 to December 10, Voices Against Violence, comprising about 50 entities, activists and advocates focused on domestic violence speak out to raise awareness and provide motivation to victims to find ways out of their victimisation. Imagine this process extended nationally across Guyana in an all-encompassing effort. We hope that this year’s observance of Sixteen Days of Activism Against Domestic Violence could see this become a reality!
Indeed, collaboration is the definitive framework to tackle this plague that is claiming the lives of so many almost on a daily basis. In effect, we agree with a recent editorial in a local newspaper that called for, “a multi-sector and cross-ministerial approach” that would result in community-level activism to prevent this scourge. Policy makers and leaders are the ones with the capacity and wherewithal to institutionalise this collaboration that everyone continually demands. Government must reach out to Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), Faith Based Organisations (FBOs), Community Based Organisations (CBOs), activists, advocates and community leaders across all divides in a concerted and continuous effort to bring about needed change. All of this has been repeatedly expressed across various platforms over time.
Meanwhile, The Caribbean Voice is extending a hand for collaboration to anyone willing to fight against this rapidly growing epidemic that is taking the lives of our brothers, sisters and children. We are in the process of formulating a plan in collaboration with the Centre on Crime and Resilience at Northeastern University in the US under a USAID-funded Building Evidence on Security and Community Resilience in the Caribbean project.
Abuse prevention needs actions, not words. So we are appealing to NGOs, FBOs, CBOs and other stakeholders to reach out to us so together we can build a network across Guyana to ensure the implementation of the upcoming plan in every community. We would provide training and necessary support to realise this effort and we fervently hope that relevant Government Ministries and agencies would join in the critical endeavour.
The Caribbean Voice