Violence against women seems to be increasing
Stabroek News – June 1, 2007
Violence against women has reached new proportions. Recently three brothers were sentenced to death for raping and murdering a woman. Also, several husbands and intimate partners killed/burned their victims as reported in the press. Crime in Guyana is an institution and people from all strata of society are involved, be it white collar crimes or sheer violence- robbery, rape and murder. Daily, the newspapers carry several instances of terrible crimes against women and children. There was also the strip search of a woman at a port of entry into Guyana.
It may appear that women are a commodity to be treated anyhow, bartered, traded, sold into slavery, maimed and treated with contempt. In Pakistan about 300 women are ritually burned every year, in India the figure is about 2500/year. In 2002 a study found that 45% of Indian women are abused by their husbands and 75% of these attempted suicide. The study found that the highest rate of sexual abuse was among highly educated men . Bride burning in India is alive and on the increase, when the bride cannot bring enough dowry , both her in-laws and husband douse her with kerosene and set her alight. Where is the law?
In Guyana, like in many other countries, women get no kind of support from the law, they prefer to keep silent because of shame and family honour. There are several cases where when a battered wife reports to the police and nothing is done, she is subsequently killed by the same person.
How can a country talk about progress when its women and children are murdered on a daily basis? It is to be noted that several religious denominations remain silent on the issue of domestic violence.
Alcohol plays a large part in domestic violence and Guyana is awash in alcohol, both legal and illegal rum shops proliferate in the country.