Domestic Violence in Guyana Domestic violence is demanding our society’s urgent attention. Domestic violence can be defined as a pattern of behavior in any relationship that is used to gain or maintain power and control over a partner. Abuse is physical, sexual, emotional, economic or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This includes any behaviors that frighten, intimidate, terrorize, manipulate, hurt, humiliate, blame, injure or wound someone.
Domestic violence is considered a dangerous form of gender base crime that is neither random nor isolated. This type of violence is said to have many suggested reasons for its occurrence across our multi- cultural society. Firstly, domestic violence is a dangerous form of gender base crime. “Studies in both developing and developed countries indicate that between 20 and 67 percent of women globally experience violence in relationships” according to the Women’s Affairs Bureau, Ministry of Labour, Human Services and Social Security.
Domestic violence and particularly the abuse of women by their male partners, is among the most common and dangerous forms of gender-based violence. Domestic violence is also inflicted upon children, whether they are witnesses to the abusive behaviour or themselves victims of it. There are also cases of domestic violence against men, but women are overwhelmingly the victims. Secondly, domestic violence is neither random nor isolated.
Rather, domestic violence has been described as systemic and structural mechanism of control of women that is built on male superiority and female inferiority, sex-stereotyped roles and expectations, and economic, social, and political predominance of men and dependency of women, gender inequality is at the roots of domestic violence. In addition, there are many suggested reasons for domestic violence. When men initiate violence against their female partners, it is sometimes possible to identify issues and circumstances that trigger or are used to justify the violence.
These triggers vary between individuals and cultures and can include anything that may be perceived as rebellion. In Guyana, jealousy is a common tigger in domestic violence scenarios, with women being portrayed as devious and unfaithful. In concluding, this issue of domestic violence needs our urgent attention as a society; no longer should we turn a blind eye to this dangerous crime that has the potential to silently destroy our nation’s progress in gender equality. Let us use the promotion of awareness and the implementation of uncompromising laws as our weapons in an aggressive fight against domestic violence.