Referral pathway training conducted as part of efforts to eradicate gender-based violence

─  Hope and Justice Shelter, rehab programme to be launched soon

The Ministry of Human Services and Social Security in its continued effort to eradicate Gender Based Violence (GBV) conducted a comprehensive referral pathway training programme, at the Palms Geriatric Institution, Georgetown on Monday.

The one-day training session saw the participation of some 70 persons including social workers, medical personnel, education officials, and members of the joint services.

Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Dr. Vindhya Persaud addressing participants at the training

During the programme, Minister Dr. Vindhya Persaud noted that, “for us to have the seamless response and for us to be meaningful and impact the life of any survivor we need to act as one.”

She highlighted the substantial efforts made over the past three years to address the scourge such as streamlining access to essential support services through the introduction of the 914- toll-free hotline with over 8,000 calls received to date.

Participants during the gender-based violence training on Monday

To further empower individuals and further improve access to resources, the ministry launched the ‘IMatter’ App. The innovative tool provides citizens with information on the many resources available to them. It also features a panic button.

Added to this is the Spotlight initiative launched in October 2020, which demonstrates  the government’s dedication to Guyana’s fight against gender-based violence.  

Participants during the gender-based violence training on Monday

The ministry also collaborated with the Ministry of Home Affairs to train law enforcement officials to better serve victims of violence through the CopSquad2000 initiative.

Minister Persaud announced that the target of 2,000 trained officers will be attained by the end of the year.

Participants during the gender-based violence training on Monday

It is intended that these officers will be in every region, it is intended that if they are trained, they must act accordingly and we must remove the act of bias from that action. We cannot belittle people, we cannot diminish their reports,” the minister added.

Meanwhile, the minister announced the launch of the Hope and Justice Shelter, a pioneering one-stop model where survivors can access a range of services under one roof.

Participants during the gender-based violence training on Monday

In addition to these initiatives, the ministry has embarked on proactive programmes targeting prevention, with a particular focus on at-risk individuals. A programme to rehabilitate perpetrators is also slated to be launched soon.

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