Victim Support Unit to be established.
DPI, Guyana, Thursday, December 7, 2017
The Ministry of Social Protection will establish a Victim Support Unit (VSU), in 2018, to provide services to the sexual offences court. The VSU will assist victims in identifying their needs and advocating their rights throughout the justice (pre-trial, trial and post-trial) processes.
This was revealed by Minister of Social Protection, Amna Ally during the 2018 budget debates in the National Assembly, on Thursday. The Minister stressed that domestic and sexual violence is an issue of grave concern for the administration.
Minister Ally explained that November last, Guyana became the first country in the Caribbean, to establish a specialised Court for the sexual offences. This court has been outfitted with modern features for an enabling environment to deal with sensitive issues.
Additionally, this year, the Social Protection Ministry developed a National Action Plan to tackle sexual and domestic violence in Guyana. Minister Ally noted that training for frontline categories of workers and social workers was conducted in order for them to be au fait with the Sexual Offences and the Domestic Violence Act, and gender-based violence and have the capacity to deal with this scourge that plagues the nation.
Model guidelines have also been developed in keeping with international best practices to manage cases.
The latest domestic violence centre is also under construction in Region Six. It is set to be completed by the end of December 2017.
By: Synieka Thorne
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