Family Violence Bill to be tabled in Parliament this year – Min. Persaud

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana
Minister of Human Services and Social Security Dr Vindhya Persaud

The modern and holistic Family Violence Bill is complete and will be tabled on the floors of parliament this year to further address violence comprehensively thereby leading to its mitigation in society.

When approved, the Family Violence Bill will replace the current Domestic Violence Act.

Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Dr Vindhya Persaud said the bill benefited from widespread input from civil society and stakeholders in the hopes of providing more coverage for victims through the law.

“It is a bill that offers much in coverage whereas before the Domestic Violence Act dealt with more inter-personal violence. This gives wider coverage so if there is any kind of violence in the family, people will be able to have more recourse to the law,” she told the Department of Public Information (DPI) on Wednesday.

The bill will also facilitate more punitive measures, and the removal of discretionary powers from police to ensure action is taken.

“There is not a discretion that will be used in terms of when they act, but once there is visible evidence of bodily harm they must take the report,” Minister Persaud explained.

Additionally, the minister revealed that the draft of the harassment bill will be finalised this year. The bill is tailored to address general harassment, especially in the workplace.

Similarly, the ministry is looking to table bills relating to the protection of children and child care this year as well. These include abduction of the child and child maintenance in alignment with the Hague Convention.

“We need real protection to be provided to these women, we need them to understand what the law does for them, we need them to understand what a protection order is and we need the perpetrators also to understand what it means to flunk the protection order,” the minister noted.

Meanwhile, to ensure Guyanese are familiar with the various bills the ministry has made it accessible on their website.