In light of continuing violent attacks against women in Guyana, the Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Dr Vindhya Persaud, is urging men to move on with their lives if a woman wants to end a relationship.
“The continuing horrific murder of women in Guyana by their husbands and partners needs to stop. Each of their lives is priceless. If there is a disagreement and she wants to leave because of years of abuse, let her. If there is an argument, do not use your fists or weapons or words to harm or kill. She is not your property to be used and abused. Her life matters to all of us in this country,” the Human Services Minister posted on Facebook at the weekend.
Last week, 20-year-old Shonnette Dover was found buried in a shallow grave behind her fiancé’s Canvas City, Wismar Linden house almost four weeks after she was reported missing; on Saturday night, Nicola Wilson, known as ‘Lisa’, was stabbed to death by her boyfriend at her D’Urban Street, Lodge, Georgetown house in the presence of her 14-year-old son and the attacker later committed suicide; and on Sunday night, a 28-year-old Berbice woman was stabbed several times by her ex-boyfriend.
“The scars your children will carry when they are exposed to this will be for life,” Dr Persaud said.
She urged persons in abusive relationships to call the domestic violence 914 number for help.
“I appeal again to people, when you know someone is living with an abusive partner, maybe for some reason they can’t report it – you call 914 before they end up dead! If it’s your family member or friend call, report or encourage them to call 914.
“We are ready to help – with shelter or whatever is needed to get them out of the abuse that turns deadly quickly.”
Dr Persaud also issued a special appeal to the police to take reports of domestic violence seriously “and do not dismiss, ignore or be unjust to persons who report abuse.”
The Human Services Minister also noted that the laws provide for harsher penalties and “must be used as it was intended to stop this violence. When women and girls continue to be murdered, the entire country is in pain.”
She said, “No system is perfect, but we must keep on trying and working together until we save each life. This fight requires all the people, the law and all the agencies to work together.”