GCCI condemns surge in domestic violence against women

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See below full statement issued by the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI):

The Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) condemns the recent spate of grievous incidents of domestic violence meted out against women. It is with much disdain and pain that we have all been increasingly reading in the media of such incidents which leave much to be desired.

Domestic Violence culminating in fatality is even more sad as oftentimes children are left motherless and relatives are left to grieve. It is common knowledge that women are the backbone of our families and communities as they play in an integral role in the moulding of our future generations.

Concurrent with domestic violence is the psychological damage and physical harm that is attendant to the victim, and children and persons who may have witnessed same.

Guyana’s law on domestic violence is very clear as it strictly prohibits same and allows victims recourse to our Magistrate’s Courts to seek redress in the form of protection and other orders.

A comprehensive national survey, the first of its kind conducted by the Guyana Bureau of Statistics with support from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), UN Women, UNDP, USAID, the Global Women’s Institute of George Washington University and the University of Guyana and released in the last quarter of 2019 revealed startling data that more than half (55%) of all women in Guyana between the ages of 15-64 experienced at least one form of violence at the hands of their partner.

The various forms of violence against women and girls examined included sexual, physical, emotional and verbal abuse. The report titled “Guyana Women’s Health and Life Experiences Survey (WHLES)” indicated that in Guyana, 38 per cent of women [surveyed] have experienced physical and/or sexual violence, above the global average.”

It unveiled that while the global estimates show that 1 in 3 women worldwide experiences either physical and/or sexual violence, mostly by an intimate partner at some point in their lives, that in Guyana, this was 1 in every 2 women.

For a population of our size, these statistics reflect dismally on our society and are totally unacceptable. They are also suggestive of a tolerance level which we need to dispel. Collectively, as stakeholders, be it Government agencies, education and enforcement arms, private sector, religious organizations and non-governmental organizations; we have to urgently work together to wipe out the scourge of this disease coined Domestic Violence that is plaguing us and impacting on our country’s socioeconomic strata. Our womenfolk must feel and be protected.

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