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Community support needful to arrest domestic violence

By admin / Posted on 30 November 2010

November 27, 2010 | By KNews | Filed Under News

Although it may not always be easy and straight forward, sustained efforts must be made to reduce the prevalence of domestic violence. This is the conviction of Pandit Suresh Sugrim of the New Jersey Arya Samaj Humanitarian Mission.
His concerns are forthcoming even as local efforts are being made to raise awareness and to sensitise members of the public to the social problem.  And this, he said, will only become a true reality if individuals would seek to look out for each other on a continual basis.
“If you know your co-worker, friend, neighbour, or relative is being abused at home what can you do to help before it is too late?” Pandit Sugrim questioned. According to him there are many things that people can do to help those that are in extremely difficult, emotional and dangerous situations, even as he noted that the issue of domestic violence must be recognised as “everybody’s business and not a private matter.” Domestic violence, he opined, has been the root cause of several deaths in the society which are inclusive of suicide and homicide.
Rape is often another form of domestic violence that many women have been forced to endure, Pandit Sugrim lamented. It has also been recognised that oftentimes abusers are driven the abuse of alcohol. For this reason, he noted, that there is a desperate need for leaders, be they religious or political, as well as those within Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) to address without delay domestic violence at the very origin. In its bid to support local efforts, the New Jersey Arya Samaj, in conjunction with the Guyana Arya Samaj Humanitarian Mission, have joined forces with Government, through the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security, and other NGOs to help put an end to domestic violence.This move, Pandit Sugrim said, will not only offer a safe haven for victims but also provide support and other needed services to them. “Lending a sympathetic ear may be the best help you can offer sometimes.  Don’t force the issue…You can simply let a victim learn to confide in you at their own pace.  Always validate their thoughts and feelings, offer choices and remain respectful to them,” Pandit Sugrim urged, as he spoke extensively on the issue recently.
“Never blame them for what is happening or underestimate their potential danger. Always refer victims to the relevant authorities,” he warned.  Abused victims, according to him, require considerable amounts of support as they often live with emotional as well as physical abuse.
This, according to him, may very well include financial empowerment, and assistance to leave the home of the abuser should the need arise. And should the victim decide to leave, efforts should be made to contact the local domestic
violence hotline or battered women’s shelter, Pandit Sugrim suggested. Battered women, he said, frequently face the most physical danger when attempting to flee. As such there may also be a need to help victims develop a safety plan should the abuser become more aggressive. “The abuser usually tells the abused that they are bad and are no good…Without positive reinforcement from outside the home, the victim may begin to believe that they can’t do anything right – that there really is something wrong with them.
Help them examine their strengths and skills. Emphasize that they deserve a life that is free from violence. Don’t tell them what to do, how they should feel, or make excuses for the abuser,” he cautioned. It was in this regard the New Jersey Arya Samaj Humanitarian Mission sought to pioneer a project to construct a benevolent home for seniors, abused women, men and orphans. The facility which is estimated to cost some US$100, 000, will be erected in Port Mourant, Berbice, according to Pandit Sugrim. He said that fundraising activities have already commenced in this regard in the United States and Guyana. It was after carefully analysing the situation of abuse in Guyana that the decision was taken to fast track the venture which will see the construction of a two-storey facility measuring 180 feet by 60 feet with the capacity to accommodate about 300 individuals from all ethnic groups, religions and background. He explained that the Berbice location was strategically chosen as it was found that while there are some facilities for battered women in Georgetown limited attention is given to the rural areas. Port Mourant was also chosen partly because that region has a high incidence of violent cases women, Pandit Sugrim said.


 

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