An early morning incident in Bartica has opened the eyes of a sitting minister of the Coalition Government. Minister with Responsibility for Youth Affairs, Simona Broomes, took to her Facebook page yesterday calling on the Commissioner of Police, Leslie James, to continuously rotate the police ranks there.
A Bartician herself, Broomes has over the years been a strong advocate for women’s rights, even being recognised for her work by the United States government.
She has a home in Bartica.
Yesterday, Broomes said she had visited Bartica, a riverain community up the Essequibo River and was sleeping when was awoken about 03:35hrs by loud screams.
She opened her window and could hear a woman screaming for help. The words were in a foreign language.
Broomes said she ran downstairs and started up her vehicle and drove to the area where the screaming was coming from.
A badly frightened girl ran out from the bushes, muddied and bruised.
By this time, Broomes’s neighbours, three women, came out.
The girl disclosed that she was working at a bar and had left with a man for his home.
Later, as she was leaving, she was followed by the man who took away money she had and that which he had given her.
Scared, she ran from the man and ended up in bushes and drains.
The Minister said she called the police station located a few minutes from her home, and spoke to someone. She identified herself and was told by the rank that he would speak to her superior.
That was minutes to 4am. At 5am, there were no police on scene.
Broomes said she went to the station.
An incensed Broomes said that the police no-show was unacceptable.
She called on the Commissioner to investigate and said she will stand up for any abused woman, regardless whether they are Guyanese or come from a different country.
In the live Facebook post, which was shared hundreds of times, the Minister said she is aware that the Top Cop is trying his best.
There was a time when Bartica had no commander stationed there. Rather, the Region Seven commander had the office in Georgetown. That has all changed now with one stationed in the district.
Insisting that she was not speaking as a Minister and that she “don’t even care what happens tomorrow”, Broomes said she is speaking as “Simona Charles”, born and raised in Bartica.
Critical of the rampant abuse incidents with little attention, Broomes said that the time to stop it is now and that she will be meeting with women and others to send a strong message.
“I am putting the Commander and he whole entourage on notice that as woman… stop it…”
The Minister said that it is public knowledge what is going on, with police even involved in the lawlessness.
“I declare war against this spirit of abuse in my backyard where I born and grow.”
Broomes is targeting bus and taxi drivers to not join the bandwagon.
She said she will not remain quiet and be a cat.
“I ain’t losing this voice. I quiet for too long, abuse is abuse.”
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