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-victims lack confidence in justice systemDespite stricter measures to tackle domestic violence, Guyana still has a far way to go to reduce the number of reported incidents.A United States of America report on human rights practices for 2015, has highlighted the shortcomings in Guyana, describing the domestic violence situation here as widespread.“Domestic violence and violence against women, including spousal abuse,Atlanta Falcons Jersey (http://www.thenflapparelsshop.com/), was widespread. The law prohibits domestic violence and allows victims to seek prompt protection, occupation, or tenancy orders from a magistrate,” the US Department of state report highlighted.According to the recently released report, the police received 2,170 reports of domestic violence cases, and 1,Cheap Jerseys From China (http://www.wholesalesportsjerseys.us.com/),131 persons were charged for last year.Penalties for violation of protection orders include fines up to $10,000 and 12 months’ imprisonment.Survivors, frequently, were unwilling to press charges due to a lack of confidence in obtaining a remedy through the courts. Some preferred to reach a pecuniary settlement out of court.According to the US State Department,Adam Joseph Duhe Dolphins Jersey (http://www.nflauthentic.us.com/), there were reports of police accepting bribes from perpetrators and other reports of Magistrates applying inadequate sentences after conviction.In an invited comment a high ranking police officer reminded of the Force’s zero tolerance towards domestic violence.He said that there have been some improvements regarding public awareness on the matter,Dwight Howard Hawks Jersey (http://www.officialnbastore.us.com/), since there has been a significant increase in reported cases over the past few years.However, some women are reluctant to go through with charges, since in most cases they are financially dependent on the perpetrators.“For some strange reason some women prefer to take a few cuffs rather than lose the financial support,” the officer stated.He acknowledged that some police ranks do not portray the right attitude when dealing with cases brought before them.“Domestic violence does not only affect females. If a man makes a report about being the victim, you could imagine how the police would react!” the police officer told Kaieteur News.The US State Department Report rightly referred to police stations that are required to have domestic violence units where victims could be counseled in private.It cited one local NGO, which observed that in most cases domestic violence reports were not taken confidentially but rather were discussed in the open at police stations and were not treated as a matter of urgency.But according to the police official some stations have already been remodeled for privacy.“We now have special rooms where victims can be interviewed without the prying ears from outside,” the officer stated.According to the 2015 report, the NGO referred to, handled cases of abuse and violence, including child, spousal, and other domestic abuse, and provided psychosocial services to those victims.The government and private donors fund Help & Shelter,David Njoku Jersey (http://www.nfldraftstore.com/david-njoku-jersey/), an NGO, to run a free shelter for victims of domestic violence and operate a hotline to counsel victims.Help & Shelter also conducted awareness sessions to sensitize individuals about domestic violence and counseled persons affected by domestic abuse or violence during face-to-face counseling sessions and via the hotline.In addition to domestic violence, the US State Department Report also highlighted Guyana’s shortcomings with regards to the issue of rape, citing infrequent successful prosecutions.Pointing to media reports and commentary from NGOs, the US State Department said that a high incidence of rape and sexual assault was not reflected in official statistics.Many survivors did not report rape and other forms of sexual assault to authorities, presumably due to fear of stigma, a lack of confidence in authorities, retribution, or further violence.Authorities received 233 reports of rape and charged 36 persons. This is compounded by a large court backlog.With regards to sexual harassment, the report stated that such acts involving physical assault are prosecuted under relevant criminal statutes. It noted that while reports of sexual harassment were common, no cases were filed as charges of sexual harassment often were settled out of court.“The law prohibits sexual harassment and provides for monetary penalties and award of damages to victims, but the law’s scope is confined to the workplace. For instance,http://www.theworldsoccersshop.com/Argentina-Diego-Maradona-Jersey.html, the law does not cover harassment in schools,” the report stated.