GRPA launches video contest to address gender-based violence

The Guyana Responsible Parenthood Associa-tion (GRPA) on Wednesday launched a video competition to encourage young people to speak out against gender-based violence (GBV).

The competition, titled “Speak Out, Stand Up Against GBV,” is open to any resident Guyanese youth between the ages of 12 and 16 years of age, the GRPA announced in a press release that was issued yesterday.

The GRPA explained that entrants would be required to prepare a one-minute video message on either sexual abuse, physical and verbal abuse in homes, or bullying and street harassment, which were the main issues raised by students who were canvassed during in-school sessions held last year. “The ‘Speak Out, Stand Up Against GBV Video Competition’ was aptly named because this is exactly what GRPA wishes to accomplish, for more young persons to speak out, and stand against violence in our society,” it said.

The launch was held at the St Joseph High School, Georgetown.

The GRPA noted that through its GBV and Youth Project, supported by the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives, it was able to reach some 720 students in six city schools between the months of October and December, 2017. It said the in-school sessions provided students with education and awareness on the various forms of gender-based violence, and most importantly how to respond to cases of abuse.

It further said that during the school sessions, which were conducted by 17 GRPA Youth Advocacy Movement facilitators, sexual abuse was found to be the number one issue, with students anonymously relaying traumatic experiences and expressing genuine concern about the topic. Physical and verbal abuse in the home, and bullying and street harassment, it added, were the next highest ranking issues being dealt with by the students.

As a result, the GRPA said the video competition was developed to give students the opportunity to use their knowledge, empower and support each other and to speak out against violence in society. “It is hoped that this opportunity enables youth advocacy for the prevention of GBV,” it added.

Based on the facilitator’s review, GRPA explained that it came up with three topics from the three main issues that arose. On sexual abuse, it said, entrants are asked to express how they would speak to someone who is a victim of sexual abuse, what to say and what not to say and what provisions of services are afforded to victims; on physical and verbal abuse in the home, entrants are asked to identify abuse, what can they do to help and what kind of support and protection services are available to them and their families; and on bullying and harassment, entrants are asked to answer two questions: What would you advise a friend who is a victim of bullying, and what would you tell someone who is bullying a stranger?

GRPA noted that only one entry is allowed by a single participant. Entries must be submitted via email to grpa.gy@gmail.com on or before February 7th, 2018.

Entries will be screened by a panel of judges and the top 10 videos will be uploaded to GRPA’s Facebook page for public votes. The three videos with the most votes will be declared the winning entries. This will be announced at GRPA’s upcoming Street Fair, which will be held on Main Street Avenue on February 14th.

Entry forms and guidelines are on the GRPA’s Facebook page or can be requested via email, the release said.

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