A Partnership for National Unity vehemently denounces the continuing perpetration of all forms of inter-personal violence and, particularly, violence against women. The Partnership has completely lost confidence in the ability of the agencies of the Ministry of Human Services and the Ministry of Home Affairs and the regular units of the Guyana Police Force to deal with the epidemic of inter-personal violence which has been plaguing the country for several years.
APNU is aware that the Guyana Police Force has long promised to install a Central Domestic Violence Unit at its Headquarters and at divisional, sub-divisional and station levels. It seems, however, that these offices simply monitor reports and compile data. There is no task force to prevent crimes and to protect victims of inter-personal and domestic violence when and where credible threats have been identified.
APNU, therefore, calls for the establishment of a special Inter-Personal Violence Unit to pro-actively counter this raging crime. The existing Neighbourhood, Community Policing and Citizens’ Security Programmes must be given specific roles to identify human safety situations which have the potential to become violent. The Partnership insists that incidents of inter-personal violence must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, regardless of the class, race, status or wealth of the perpetrators.
APNU feels that there is an apparent weakness of policy, lack of will or an absence of resources within the Ministries of Human Services and Home Affairs, respectively. Inter-personal violence, as a result, has been allowed to reach epidemic proportions in terms of its frequency, brutality and widespread nature. Reports indicate that there have been numerous incidents in urban, rural and hinterland areas.
The Partnership recognises that vulnerable women and girl children must be protected by more sympathetic, better trained law enforcement agencies supported by a stronger judicial system. It recognises the need for more support systems for vulnerable women and girls in crisis and an increase of the number of safe homes for abused, battered, trafficked and sexually-exploited women and girl children.
APNU insists further that the early education curricula for boys and girls, beginning with the primary schools, should include the teaching of values and standards aimed at eliminating the mentality and factors that contribute to disrespect and the abuse of women and girls. There must also be a positive change in political culture that recognises the worth of women and girls.
APNU calls on the People’s Progressive Party/Civic Administration to take immediate action to prevent the crime, to punish violators and to eradicate the scourge of inter-personal violence. The Partnership demands also that, where such violence occurs, measures should be taken to protect women from being subjected to such abuse, and to aid their easy access to justice and safety. Women who are mothers and who are responsible for the reproduction of future generations have been most frequently the victims of violence. They deserve the protection of the state.
APNU encourages all citizens of Guyana to work together for the elimination of inter-personal violence. APNU remains fully committed to protecting the rights of all citizens and to ensuring that all citizens can attain the good life to which they are entitled.