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Nearly 100 persons benefit from Hope and Justice Centre’s support services

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Since its establishment in April this year, the Hope and Justice Centre has provided support to nearly 100 individuals facing various challenging circumstances.

This was announced by the Manager of the Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Policy Unit, Dr Cona Husbands, during the centre’s official opening ceremony on Friday, at Lusignan, East Coast Demerara in Region Four.

Stakeholders at opening ceremony of the Hope and Justice Centre

Dr Husbands highlighted that the centre has addressed a wide range of issues, with 50 per cent of cases involving domestic violence, 30 per cent concerning elder abuse, and 15 per cent related to legal matters such as land disputes and restraining orders.

Additionally, the centre has collaborated with the Child Protection Agency (CPA) to address childcare issues.

The centre’s counselling sessions, held every Thursday, attract significant participation, with around 30 individuals attending each session.

Manager of the Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Policy Unit, Dr Cona Husbands

The facility was conceptualised through a joint effort between the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security, and the Ministry of Legal Affairs, under the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)’s Support for the Criminal Justice System (SCJS) programme.

A United Nations (UN) study revealed that Guyana has a domestic violence rate of 55 per cent, indicating that one in every two women is affected, compared to one in every three women globally.

To combat the rising issue of gender-based violence, the “one-stop” operational model provides victims with comprehensive support services including counselling, legal aid, and medical treatment.

Hope and Justice Centre, at Lusignan

It also offers temporary accommodation based on the severity of the cases.

Lusignan’s Hope and Justice Centre is the first of its kind, serving as a model for future centres.

This innovative approach will soon expand, with another centre slated to open in Region Three, broadening the reach and impact of these essential services. The centre is open from Monday to Friday, 8:00 to 16:00 hours, offering free services to residents from Industry to Mahaica, Region Five.

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