One of the key highlights of the 2023 mid-year report is the Guyana Government’s dedication to curbing domestic violence. During the first half of the year, the document notes that some 500 Guyanese underwent training, equipping them with the knowledge and skills necessary to recognise and respond to cases of domestic violence.
Another 400 individuals are expected to receive training in the second half of 2023. The approach ensures that communities play an active role in preventing and addressing domestic violence.
Another highlight in the report is the government’s dedication to advancing legislation aimed at curbing domestic violence. The drafting of crucial pieces of legislation will update the existing Domestic Violence Act of 1997 and the Sexual Harassment Act to encompass measures to combat trafficking in persons and protect children.
The government has also partnered with private organisations, which has seen Help and Shelter providing counselling and psychosocial services to some 331 individuals in the first half of 2023.
To provide a safe space for victims, the domestic violence shelter was upgraded and expanded during the first half of 2023. The expansion allows the shelter to accommodate more women seeking refuge from abusive relationships.
Plans are in place to open a new shelter in Region Two during the second half of the year to ensure victims have access to secure and supportive environments after leaving their abusive situations.
Recognising that domestic violence not only affects individuals but the entire community, the government initiated training and sensitisation programmes in Regions One, Two, Seven, Eight, and Nine.
The Guyana Legal Aid Clinic and Linden Legal Aid Clinic also stepped in to offer legal services to victims in various regions, which encompassed crucial areas including adoption, custody and access, divorce, domestic violence, estates, and property disputes.
Meanwhile, a major milestone was achieved with the passing of the Combating of Trafficking in Persons Act in the National Assembly on May 10, which introduces comprehensive measures to combat trafficking in persons, addressing both socio-political needs and international requirements.
To further support this effort, the hotline ‘592 STOP’ has been established. Spanish and Portuguese responders are included in the initiative to facilitate the reporting of trafficking in-person incidents.
Additionally, the government continues to provide public assistance support, a crucial lifeline financial assistance for those who may find themselves in difficult circumstances due to domestic violence. (Modified from the Department of Public Information)