THE sum of $114.9 million has been earmarked in this year’s budget to strengthen and expand legal aid services in an effort to render support to victims of gender-based violence.
During his presentation of the national budget on Wednesday at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC), Senior Minister in the Office of the President with responsibility for finance, Dr Ashni Singh, said, “abuse of any form is unacceptable within our society and a social issue that cannot be ignored. The government continues to pursue initiatives to prevent domestic violence.”
To provide further relief to victims, $19.7 million will be used to rehabilitate the Whim and Onderneeming domestic violence shelters. These facilities provide services for victims of sexual and domestic violence.
The senior minister also announced that the administration will continue to implement initiatives to mitigate domestic violence, to safeguard its human resource nationwide.
In this regard, the government reconstituted a number of initiatives to achieve its goals of eliminating all forms of domestic violence and discrimination, such as the Inter-Ministry Gender Focal Point Committee (IMC) to mainstream gender in all government agencies.
The IMC serves as the coordinating committee for the upcoming implementation of Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).
In addition, domestic violence training is now part of the curriculum of the police training college. The Guyana Police Force has established domestic violence units and special rooms at identified police stations to receive reports in a more appropriate environment. (DPI)