50 more police officers trained to handle gender based violence cases

Fifty more police officers are now more equipped to deal with Gender Based Violence and Domestic Violence after undergoing training at the Police Officer’s Training Centre. 

Minister of Human Services and Social Security Dr. Vindhya Persaud hands over a certificate to one of the participants.

The Second and Third Batch of graduates from the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security’s and United Nations Populations Fund COPSQUAD 2020 aim to improve the efficiency of the Guyana Police Force in dealing with these cases. In September a batch of 18 graduated.

Minister of Human Services and Social Security Dr. Vindhya Persaud speaking at the graduation.

The Ministry of Human Services and Social Security launched the initiative in August with the hope that 2000 persons will be trained before the end of this year.

Minister of Home Affairs, Hon. Robeson Benn M.P. and Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Hon. Dr. Vindhya Persaud M.P. were in attendance for the event.

The Batch of Graduates of the COPSQUAD 200 Programme.

“We will have to admit if we are looking at the statistics that it isn’t working itself out in ways which we would want it to work out as quickly as we would want it to happen and hence, we have these training programmes. We have many of these new aspects of training for police … and education and training because we know the range of policing interventions are much more than what it used to be,” Minister Benn stated.

Gender Based Violence covers Sexual Violence, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, Child Marriages and Early Union, Child Abuse, Trafficking in Persons and Intimate Partner Violence.

The Badges that the trained police officers will wear

Minister Persaud told the graduates that she has confidence in them to work towards changing the statistics.

I would like to challenge all of you, to channel and harness your energies so that they could be utilised effectively to make that tangible impact. Wherever you are, let your name be that name that is called for all the good things that will happen in the police stations or in the offices or in the communities where you find yourself,” she said.

Several of the graduates of the five-day training expressed enthusiasm for returning to work and putting into practice what they have learnt from the training.

Minister of Home Affairs Robeson Benn pins a badge on one of the participants of the training.

“I am pleased to say that … there are many options available for a survivor who encounters gender-based violence or any form of violence that falls under gender based,” said Constable Tanesha Johnson as she addressed the gathering.

“I have learnt a new way to interview a survivor of domestic violence and most definitely I will continue to move in a swift manner to ensure that justice is served and that persons are comfortable,” she added.

Constable Guwraft Bissessar, another beneficiary of the programme also responded positively to the training. “When I return to my place of work, I will educate the public along with police officers about the different ways and means of dealing with domestic violence and their speedy response to domestic violence,” he said.

Sergeant Kevin Fields, who is attached to the Finance Department of the Guyana Police Force is also grateful for what he has learnt.

“This course came in a timely manner and gender-based violence, domestic violence, intimate partner violence is very prevalent in our society and the reality is, a lot of people go through this and they don’t speak,” Sergeant Fields said.

“Let us go out there and be the difference, let us change lives, let us educate people and let them know that there are places for them to go to, there are professionals for them to talk to,” he urged his fellow graduates.  

Commissioner of Police (ag), Nigel Hoppie said seven women have been killed by their partners for this year up to October 15, 2021, compared to 11 for the same period last year.

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