Women’s rights activist blasts weak judicial punishment

first_imgDrunken father’s assault on pregnant daughter– says alcoholism wreaking havoc on societyWomen’s Activist Nicole ColeMinister with responsibility for social cohesion and for culture youth and sport, Dr George Norton, had indicated in September 2017 that an Alcohol Control Bill would be introduced in Parliament. He had, at that time, called for increases in the ages of those allowed to purchase alcohol and those allowed to consume same, having also expressed concern at the way in which people conduct themselves while being under the influence of alcohol.Just recently, a father of La Parfaite Harmonie, West Bank Demerara assaulted his pregnant adult daughter by cuffing and kicking her, because he “didn’t like the way” she was speaking to him after she had objected to his disorderly behaviour while under the influence, which normally includes swearing at family members.Wales Magistrate Dylon Bess has placed that father on a 6-month bond to keep the peace, and he is expected to maintain sober conduct; failing which, he would be incarcerated for 6 months.However, in the view of Social and Women’s Rights Activist Nicole Cole, a stronger penalty should have been imposed on that offender for his conduct, which she contends is becoming “too normal” in our society.Social Cohesion Minister, Dr George Norton“I think the father should have been incarcerated (in order) to send a strong message that the SOCIETY is serious about eliminating violence against women and children; because he has caused physical as well as psychological damage to his pregnant daughter and her child,” Cole told Guyana Times in an interview on Saturday.She opined that being placed on a bond is “wholly egregious” for an act she views as cruel and inhumane to the unborn.“Did the magistrate, for one moment, stop and think about the long-term neuropsychological harm (done) to that unborn foetus? Where is the compassion for the pregnant woman and her unborn child? (This sentence is) an ABSURDITY by the Judiciary! (It is) wholly despicable! The punishment (imposed) by the magistrate points to the abnormal being viewed as normal. Violence is normalised by such weak judicial punishment for such brutality meted out to the pregnant woman,” the activist stressed.The Women and Gender Equality Commissioner also feels “wholly disheartened” by this recent case, which she surmises is on a long list of abuse against women; which is sometimes occurring without punishment.Stressing that this further represents psychological issues within our society, Cole called for establishment of additional rehabilitation centres to deal with substance abuse problems.“Only recently, there were reports of another pregnant woman being abused by her father, who subsequently committed suicide after failing in his bid to murder his spouse. What we now are witnessing is even nauseating, because even the unborn foetus is now being attacked violently, which smacks of a deep psychological malaise within the society! Alcoholism is a disease, and it’s wreaking havoc in our society more than marijuana and cocaine, which are illicit drugs,” she noted.The activist has said that more focus should have been placed on the “12 women” who have already met their demise for this year. She noted that there were about four murder/suicide cases recorded in the first half of 2018. “I am in trepidation of what will be the final count,” Cole disclosed.During last week’s ‘father assault on pregnant daughter’ case, Aleem Mohamed admitted that he had assaulted his daughter at the family’s home.In March of this year, City Magistrate Judy Latchman fined Ibeniko Fredericks $100,000 or one month’s jail for unlawfully and maliciously assaulting his 16-year-old daughter in Georgetown after she had allegedly answered him rudely when he had enquired why she had come home late from school. Fredericks had held on to her hair, pushed her down, and proceed to slap her. He was also alleged to have used a wooden scrubbing board and iron pipe to hit the teen.Being abused is a violation of women’s human rights, as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women. However, Reyona Payne, Rosemary Rudder, Ursilla Paradat, Darmattie Persaud, Diana Hernandez and Deorani “Priya” Inderpaul were some of the many Guyanese women who were literally slaughtered this year as the scourge of domestic violence seemingly consolidated its presence in Guyanese society. (Shemuel Fanfair)last_img

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