Region 6 RDCs, NDCs urged to join domestic violence fight Georgetown, GINA, March 5, 2009 Head of the Domestic Violence Policy Unit, within the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security Geetangeli Geer has urged members of the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) in Region 6 to join the fight against domestic violence, and to help victims and perpetrators to seek help. During an awareness session, Geer explained that the National Policy on Domestic Violence helps to provide directions to women’s affairs committees at the regional and local government level. The meeting which was convened in the Regional Office boardroom attracted 33 persons including from the various RDCs and Neighbourhood Democratic Councils (NDCs) in the Region. Geer explained various provisions in the Domestic Violence Act of 1996 and emphasized that the law plays a crucial part when it comes to reporting and prosecuting domestic violence cases. Superintendent of Police, ‘B’ Division, Simon Mc Bean emphasized that the police are supportive of those who file domestic violence complaints and urged members of the public who are dissatisfied with the police’s response to reported cases to make such reports to him. Geer also suggested that they make reports to the new Commander of the ‘B’ Division George Vyphius. Mc Bean outlined the procedure for filing a domestic violence report and said that reports would also be taken over the telephone. He said victims must be encouraged to file reports and that, “we need to get into villages and communities to target victims and perpetrators of domestic violence.” Mc Bean noted that currently there are six police stations undergoing rehabilitation which will make provision for an interview room. This would afford domestic violence victims more privacy when making reports. The stations are Springlands, No. 51, Albion, Central, Reliance and Whim. Senior Probation Officer in Region Six, Forbes Munroe said that there is a high correlation between domestic violence and alcohol consumption and noted that when children grow up in homes with domestic violence they themselves are likely to become abusers. He said that the police must be in the frontline of the battle and said that about 50 % of all cases he deals with are about domestic violence. Munroe pointed to the provision in the Domestic Violence Act which empowers a police officer to enter the premises if he/she suspects that domestic violence is being committed. Chairman for a local NDC, Gaindalall Hitnarine asked for the various counselling locations and urged that signs be erected to identify these as counselling sites. In her presentation to the group Geer urged the members not to ignore cases of domestic violence in their communities and not to denounce or ridicule victims. Members of the communities asked that the session be held in observance of International Women’s Day which will is scheduled for March 8.
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