By Leroy Smith
Her Excellency Sandra Granger, First Lady of Guyana, on Monday (April 11) questioned the statistics offered by the Guyana Police Force in relation to sexual violence against children from 2011 to March 2016.
“In Guyana the police reported cases of sexual violence committed between 2011 to March this year amount to 1145 with A, C, F divisions posting the highest number of cases and this seems to be lower than the cases reported to the Ministry of Social Protection, but I believe that these figures do not represent a true and accurate tally, anecdotal evidence indicates the high instances of rape, trafficking and incest in our rural areas,” She pointed out.
The First lady was at the time delivering the feature address for the launching of the “Travelling Exhibition” sponsored by the European Union in Collaboration with the United Nations Children Fund and the Non-Governmental Organisation, Blossom.
The event was held at the Brickdam Police Station, which serves as the headquarters for the Police ‘A’ Division. The “Travelling Exhibition” brings into focus through paintings, the experiences, counselling and expression of children who were sexually abused.
“For me it is a sad reflection how we as a society continue to fail our children particularly in addressing sexual violence against them” Mrs. Granger noted.
The First lady went on to state that “our child victims needs to be assured that when violence against them is reported the law will act swiftly to prosecute the perpetrators of such crimes that the judicial systems would function efficiently and equitably to bring such criminals to justice and that the victims would receive all the counselling and support that they need to overcome the trauma of sexual violence.”
The travelling Exhibition would be taken to several parts of the country and special efforts would be made to ensure that it reaches as many police stations as far as possible.
The First Lady expressed the view that the exhibition should be displayed at police stations in Regions 2,4,6 and 10.