When it comes to violence redress begins at home

Dear Editor,

There has been an outpouring of condemnation and outrage over the recent torture of a young teen at the hands of police officers while in their custody. This horror is a frightening reminder of how fragile society is and demands that government act to end the endless stream of lawless acts taking place in Guyana.

Yet other types of violence occur daily without intervention or loud outcry.  This is the violence that is silently taking place inside homes.  As members of society we each have an individual and direct responsibility for that failure to act. This failure to intervene when people we know, love, employ or school are beaten, scalded, strangled, tied up, cut, kicked, punched, slapped or sexually assaulted is completely unjustifiable. We must look deep within ourselves and evaluate what has led us to silence and inaction while violence takes place within our own circle of family, friends and in our neighbourhood.  This inaction has given way to generation after generation of worsening violence that has infected every aspect of Guyanese society.

Until we find our footing to act decisively, loudly, individually and collectively to address this horrible scourge in our own homes and backyards, we cannot have the expectation that violence elsewhere will abate. When it comes to violence, the redress begins at home and given the current level of violence in Guyana, now would be a good time to begin with some personal introspection.

Yours faithfully,
Margaret Clemons

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