In observance of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, the Guyana Association of Women Lawyers (GAWL) on Wednesday called for a unified resolve to end the violence against women and girls.
In a release, the organisation appealed to all, especially teachers, principals, officers, government officials, caregivers, and social workers to be more responsible and vigilant when it comes to the protection of our women and children/girls.
It observed that until questions such as “should perpetrators of domestic violence be allowed to occupy positions of trust” have been addressed, we cannot foster a wholesome society.
It cited the failure of women to recognise or heed the “red flags” as well as the neglect of family, friends and neighbours in offering support because of uncertainty as to whether it is a public issue, as reasons for the increase in cases of domestic violence today.
It urged a renewed emphasis on women and girls, while underscoring that from childhood girls must be taught to cultivate and demand respect for themselves and from others in the home, school and through other methods that are reinforced later. They must be encouraged to report any negative experience, their concerns must not be ignored when reported and those in authority have a duty to never erode the trust that accompany their positions. A child taught from an early age that violence is wrong will not accept it as an adult, it said.
The GAWL also recommended that persons avail themselves of information on their obligations as it relates to providing assistance, whether it be provision of shelter, accompanying the victim to make a police report or referring them to where they can receive help. These guidelines are outlined in the Domestic Violence, Sexual Offences, Protection of Children and Child Care and Development Services Acts.