Victims march to end violence against women

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By Royan Abrams

Concerned over the increased cases of domestic violence against women in Guyana, a group of persons on Saturday marched through the streets of New Amsterdam, Berbice to take a stand against the social ill.

Among the participants were domestic violence survivors, victims, and relatives of those who would have died as a result of abuse. The initiative was spearheaded by Latoya Williamson, a contestant in the upcoming “I Am A Big Deal Pageant” as part of her platform to educate and spread awareness on domestic violence.

The march began at Tacoma Turn in greater New Amsterdam and ended at Shoe Lane. The destination held much significance for Williamson as this is where her 26-year-old sister, Shondell Williamson was attacked and doused with acid by her ex-husband on January 20, 2017.

Scenes from the march.

“As I was walking, I was remembering my sister, a jovial young lady, this energetic and outgoing young lady. But she still is energetic and outgoing but because of violence against women there are so many (women) that are no more and so indeed we need to ask ourselves how many more?” she expressed.

During the march, the participants held placards with various messages such as “we need our, women treat them right”, “women you are a big deal”, and “if you abuse, you lose”, among others.

The pageant contestant noted that the walk is one with a purpose and that she was pleased to see men participating in the event. Pastor Delwin Wint, who spoke at the conclusion of the march, related that it is time to protect women of society as they are precious and need to be respected.

“We need to come to a place in our lives when we realize that when a relationship is not working that we do not come to a place to resolving it through violence. So I want to say that to the young men that you are gonna destroy your life when you apply violence to our young women,” he said.

Scenes from the march.

In Berbice, there are several cases of domestic violence which resulted in deaths.

In July 2017, 16-year-old babysitter Roseann Lakhpal was found dead in her mother’s home with stab wounds about her body.  In October 2017, 39-year-old Kenesha Sheriff of Number 30 village was brutally chopped to death by a man who eventually took his own life. In August 2017, the body of 42-year-old Rhonda of 91 Coburg Street, Cumberland Village, East Canje, Berbice, was discovered at the back of her yard with two stab wounds-one to the left side breast and the other to the right side neck.

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