School children across Guyana sensitised on Domestic Violence- as International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women observed
Georgetown, GINA, December 6, 2013
In observing International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (IDEVAW), all schools across the country were asked by the Ministry of Education to have general discussions on the significance of this day.
Four hundred and forty four (444) nursery schools, along with the 436 primary schools, 175 secondary departments, 110 secondary schools, 6 special needs schools, 2 tertiary institutions and 8 Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institutions observed this very significant activity.
Member of Parliament (MP) Kwame Gilbert during an interactive session with the students of the Lodge Secondary School
About 200 volunteers visited several schools across the country including Advisor to the President on Governance, Gail Teixeira and Member of Parliament (MP) Rev. Kwame Gilbert, who visited the North Georgetown and Lodge Secondary Schools respectively, sensitising students on domestic violence.
This activity which was held under the theme “Inspiring a Generation through Education” was intended to raise awareness among young people, particularly the school population about the prevalence of domestic violence and how it is affecting Guyanese.
A section of the students who participated in the sensitisation session at the Lodge Secondary School
Teixeira told the North Georgetown Secondary School students that Guyana has signed several international conventions on human rights.
“In our law, in our constitution there are provisions to protect the children of this country so we’ve passed a number of laws in Guyana, protection of children and the stages of children…adoption, custody, maintenance act…these are all pieces of legislations that were passed in 2009,” She said. The Domestic Violence Act was signed in 1997.
Advisor to the President on Governance, Gail Teixeira speaking to the students at the North Georgetown Secondary School
She said domestic violence starts with the family, and it is against the law in the country to commit such an act. She added that this form of violence has been encouraged by some women who refuse to have their abusers face charges or other penalties.
“One of the main things to stop it is to first of all recognise that non-violent communication is important,” Teixeira stated.
The Presidential Advisor encouraged students to report cases of domestic violence in an effort to stop the cruelty because children are one of the main victims of domestic violence and often times they become either withdrawn or aggressive.
North Georgetown Secondary School students
Meanwhile, MP Gilbert who interacted with the students of Lodge Secondary School expounded on domestic violence and the effect it can have on society, especially amongst children.
Dr Gilbert explained that often time abusers do or say things to manipulate their victims, such as lower their self esteem or invite them out and tell them not to say anything so as to have them fall into their (the abusers’) trap. He urged the students to be observant and cognisant of such person (s) even in their homes.
MP Gilbert also charged them to reach out to their community or religious leaders, or a trusted family member, and speak out in case of any form of abuse in the home, school or elsewhere.