Gov’t working assiduously to eradicate gender-based violence

Human Services ministry launches ‘Orange Avenue’

The PPP/C Administration, since taking office in August 2020 has been working assiduously to eradicate gender-based violence (GBV), particularly against women and girls countrywide.

In an effort to attain this change, the government through the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security launched ‘Orange Avenue’ on Friday along the corridor of Lamaha and Camp Street, Georgetown.

Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Dr Vindhya Persaud and Minister of Public Service, Sonia Parag

This is as the ministry joins the rest of the world in celebrating 16 Days of Activism under this year’s theme “Unite, let us engage to eradicate violence against women and girls.”

Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Dr Vindhya Persaud in her address said, “Today we launched orange avenue, I am hoping that this can be a permanent initiative where we develop an interactive space for persons to come and learn about the services offered, to bring their families and to be engaged in such a way that we continue the conversation on ways in which we can curb violence.”

Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Dr Vindhya Persaud featuring the joint services dressed in orange in support of the 16 days of Activism against gender-based violence

She pointed to a recent statistical report released by the UNOC and UN women, which states that some five women and girls are killed every hour. The report shows that in 2021, everyday within 60 minutes five women and girls are killed, this amounts to the death of some 81,000 women and girls. Of this number, some 45,000 of them lost their lives at the hands of a relative, displaying that violence is rooted close to home.

Domestic Violence skit

“If that is not alarming then I don’t know what else can shake us to our core and remind us that we need to make every effort to end the scourge of violence against women and girls. For many years, this day has been dedicated to ending that scourge, dedicated to raising awareness, dedicated to educating populations and dedicated to bring visibility to the services that each country offers,” the minister noted.

Meanwhile, she highlighted some of the initiatives the government has implemented aimed at addressing GBV in Guyana.

Programmes launched to tackle GBV

Back in 2020, Guyana launched the spotlight initiative, the blue print for many of the new projects launched. Under the spotlight initiative the ministry launched a comprehensive referral pathway to tackle violence. The 914 24-hour toll-free hotline.

In 2021, the hotline received 11, 327 calls and this year, the number has increased.

Woman displaying that abuse is sometimes invisible

The ministry also partnered with the Ministry of Home Affairs to launch the COPSQUAD2000 initiative earlier this year. Some 1,476 police officers have since been trained to deal with domestic violence cases in a sensitive and respectful manner. The officers will be placed across the 10 administrative regions.

Minister Persaud said that these initiatives are the steps the government has taken to eradicate violence and to let citizens, especially victims of abuse, know that they are not alone.

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