Jul 02, 2018 News
With a resource centre for abused women and children envisioned, a local non-governmental organization (NGO) is continuing its fight against the domestic violence scourge that has plagued Guyana, among other social ills affecting citizens.
The United Bridge Builders Mission (UBBM) was founded in 26 years ago by Bonita Montaque, a former policewoman; it aims to provide support to persons affected by HIV/AIDS, to empower women and youth, and to advocate against domestic violence.
UBBM began operations out of the USA and later expanded its services to Guyana operating out of 81 John Street, Campbellville, Georgetown. According to the NGO’s founder, the office is a safe and conducive space from where persons affected by any social ill can seek help and better care for themselves.
Montaque made it clear that any form of domestic violence whether perpetrated by a man or woman should not be tolerated. Since its formation, UBBM has organized several rallies against domestic violence and has offered counselling to couples and abused women and children.
Revealing that she has lost many close female friends to domestic violence, Montaque emphasized the need for perpetrators to be properly prosecuted so that the efforts of all in the fight are not rendered useless.
The women’s advocate and abuse survivor disclosed, “I understand what it is to be abused. I will speak out because I am not only helping myself but other people.”
Having lent a listening ear to countless domestic violence victims, Montaque stated that women are more open to discussions relating to this sensitive topic.
Statistics in Guyana shows that women are overwhelmingly being killed by their spouses, and as such, UBBM is pleading with men to seek help from the organization or engage in talks with doctors, religious leaders.
Domestic violence is not physical violence alone. In fact, it is any behaviour which is used for the purpose of gaining power and control over a spouse, partner, girl/boyfriend or intimate family member.
Throughout its life, UBBM has not received any solid case of women abusing their spouses. Montaque revealed that men would come to complain about their wives/spouses not performing household duties.
Nevertheless, members of the NGO have attended the funerals of several women who were murdered by their partners for the year. It is currently working on putting a hotline service in place and is seeking support to assist with its many projects.
Persons desirous of help contact UBBM on (592) 667- 4640.
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