The Justice and Peace Commission (JPC) of the diocese of Georgetown, Guyana has begun a series of workshops aimed at providing expert training in domestic violence prevention.
The JPC has identified domestic violence as an issue of high priority on its work agenda and developed this training activity with appropriate follow up training to support the Church in its goal.
Acting JPC chairman Gino Persaud urged interested Catholics to come on board and play an active role in assisting the Church in its goal of reducing the incidence of domestic violence, while project co-ordinator Nazla Williams told the Catholic Standard that the JPC
has recognised the need for the Catholic Church to improve its ability to address this issue. She explained that priests and other Church personnel are being approached with domestic violence problems and often are not equipped to address them competently.
Williams added that the Church also saw the necessity to join the effort to eradicate domestic violence since government agencies lack all the resources. She noted that the National Domestic Violence Policy encourages faith-based organisations to get involved.
Workshops will be held March 17, 18, 24 and 25 at St Paul’s and will be facilitated by an organisation known as Help and Shelter. In the first stage of the project 30 parishioners primarily from Catholic parishes in Regions 4 and 5 will undergo the training as part of its overall goal of helping to reduce the incidences of domestic violence in Guyana. Following this the trained participants will then be expected to assume the responsibility of conducting a follow up
session with 10 to 20 persons in a parish community in Region 4 or 5 to disseminate this information and train further persons at the community level.
The project, being funded by Catholic Relief Services, will also involve other activities such as the publication and distribution of posters and brochures as well as the airing of several radio and television programmes.