The Caribbean American Domestic Violence Awarness (CADVA) organisation has unveiled a miniature sculpture of domestic violence victim, Babita Sarjou, whose skeletal remains were found earlier this year in a shallow grave in her husband’s backyard.
With April dedicated to sexual violence awareness, an amalgamation of non-governmental organizations gathered yesterday at Carifesta Avenue in front of the Crime Chief’s office armed with their placards as they carried out a peaceful protest.
Representatives of Help and Shelter, Red Thread, Citizens Against Rape (CAR), Guyana Responsible Parenthood Association (GRPA), Partners for Peace and Development, AGAPE Network, Caribbean American Domestic Violence Awareness (CADVA), Caribbean One Billion Rising, and Rainbow House all showed up to show their support. The some 40 persons stood in front of the Police Headquarters, Eve Leary.
Roxanne Myers, coordinator of the ‘Stand Up’ event highlighted the need for more efficient and reliable ways to handle and process cases. “Who can imagine a body can be dumped in a public place like a seawall? That means the perpetrators have no respect for the law and think they can do whatever they want,” she stated as she pointed to the urgent need for the police force to take on the responsibility it has been neglecting over the years.
Protestors with placards
“I am not an activist, I’m a citizen,” a participant of the event pointed out as he explained there has been a recommendation for a special victims unit (SVU) since the Sexual Offences Act was amended and five years later there still isn’t any word of it.
CAR member Dr Raquel Thomas-Caesar highlighted the need for young boys and girls to be better educated when it comes to sexual and domestic abuse. “People have this idea that only a stranger on the road can hold you up in a corner and rape you, but that’s not true. Sometimes it’s the people who are closer to you, and even in your own house that these things can happen. The kids need to know what consent is, rape, domestic abuse, they have a right to know and the right to say no,” she expounded.
Participants at the activity included the weeping mother of Babita Sarjou, who is still pleading for answers on her daughter’s disappearance over four years ago.
November 5, 2014 4:09 pm
By Tracey Khan – Drakes
[www.inewsguyana.com] – An application to reopen the cold case for missing mother of one, Babita Sarjou, will be made to the Guyana Police Force by Caribbean American Domestic Violence Awareness Association (CADVA) and Caribbean One Billion Rising Movement, as they seek to have the matter brought back into the courts.
The woman has been missing for the past four years and is the spouse of businessman, Anand Nandarine. She disappeared on November 04, 2011 after leaving her work place in West Rumiveldt with intent to meet her husband and son despite their separation.
iNews understands that the missing woman made a domestic violence report against her husband, who was charged in connection with the publication of pornographic images featuring his wife.
The case was dismissed for want of prosecution on July 05 2011.
Last evening, Regional Representative of CADVA, Diane Madray organized a candle light vigil for the missing woman, which saw the attendance of her relatives, scores of women and Leader of the Alliance for Change (AFC), Khemraj Ramjattan.
The vigil commenced from the missing woman’s last place of residence – Sea Forth Street Campbellville – and ended at the seawalls.
Madray, after a meeting with Crime Chief, Leslie James today, Wednesday November 05 said she was promised that no effort will be spared to ensure all is done by the Guyana Police Fore this time around.
She told iNews that the application to reopen the case will be sent to the Police, after which it will be forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for advice.
She added that the Crime Chief expressed great concern on the matter and even promised to look at the samples that were sent for DNA testing in Trinidad in 2011 but never returned.
CADVA has called for the woman’s husband to be looked at as a person of interest in the matter since he was abusive in many ways to his missing wife and angry when she took him to court.
She assured that they will not give up and called on all organizations to come on board and help them bring closure to the matter for the missing woman’s friends and family.
She also highlighted the fact that no search effort was made by the Police, nor the woman’s husband after she went missing and called for circumstantial evidence to be used in the court when they matter is taken up by the police.
The missing woman’s mother, Champa Sarjou called on mothers to be more vigilant and pay keener attention to their daughters who maybe in abusive relationships.
“I did not know how serious this abuse was until the fourth time she came home to us and told us that Annand had stripped her naked, beat her and dragged her. I told her not to go back, but she did not listen.”
Ramjattan joined the women last evening and promised to help with legal advice for this case to ensure the matter is brought to the court.
“We have to think of specialized legislation for persons who have disappeared and on that score we plan to ask the commonwealth whether there is going to be some blueprint legislation…that purposes with the necessary modifications and adaptions to apply to Guyana,” the AFC Leader said.Read More