A collaborative effort to assist females in abusive relationships will see 100 women being granted shopping vouchers valued at $15,000 through an initiative by the Massy Group and the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security.
The vouchers will enable women who are in abusive relationships with some needed assistance to leave. This is among the provision of shelters and other assistance currently offered by the Human Services Ministry.
Overall, $1.5 million was put into the “SAFE- Stop Abuse, Stay Empowered” programme. The female beneficiaries have already been screened by the Ministry.
The vouchers are redeemable at the five Massy Stores located at Providence, Turkeyen, Montrose, Vreed-en-Hoop and Ruimveldt.
Massy has been working with non-profit organisations (NGO)s, the Ministry of Health, and Ministry of Education to bring awareness to suicide prevention.
This programme is among the various activities that Massy has embarked on for this year to support its staff and the wider community as it relates to mental health well-being and professional life, suicide prevention and domestic violence.
Delivering the feature address, Minister Dr Vindhya Persaud said, “Together let’s change the craze for what we see when we see domestic violence… we are moving forward fueled by the passion we have to serve the people of Guyana.”
She said the aim is for her ministry to serve with honor, humility and integrity and in doing so, this type of assistance must be available for persons.
Dr. Persaud added, “You may not realize what $15,000 can do when someone is leaving without a cent in their pocket and especially with children too.”
“We will go as far as we can [to assist] even if this means going knocking on the door of the police force,” the minister further said. She explained that the ministry is approaching the Guyana Police Force to train for responding to people who go to make reports of this nature.”
Meanwhile, the Head of the Massy Group’s Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Steering Committee, Christpen Bobb-Semple said this is another opportunity for the group to work with a ministry “to help create hope, to inspire action, to tackle this very important cause to mental health.”
“To be part of a programme that will allow us an opportunity to empower women by bringing immediate relief to them so that they do not have to second guess and submit themselves to abusive or at risk situations and two provide counselling to men, of this behaviour,” Bobb-Semple said.
Further, the Ministry is urging that if you or someone you know is experiencing any form of violence, call the toll free hotline 9-1-4 to report it and get help.