…admits Guyana has highest rates of femicide in CaribbeanExpressing concern over the prevalence of interpersonal violence in schools, homes and communities, President David Granger on Saturday declared the scourge a public security concern.President David GrangerThe President was at the time addressing attendees at the Guyana Conference of Seventh-Day Adventists, which was held at the Central Seventh-Day Adventist Church on Church Street. Saturday marked their centennial celebration and with the theme being the family, Granger noted that interpersonal violence was eroding family life.“Thirty or 40 years ago, we regarded domestic violence as a private matter. A man beating his wife or a wife beating her husband was regarded as a family affair. And school fights were dismissed with the old cliché, boys will be boys. Some of the mothers beating the teachers. Things have changed. Interpersonal violence has now become a public security concern”.“It is one of the most vicious crimes in the country. It happens at wedding parties, in the hinterland, mining camps. We seem to have people who cannot resolve their differences in discussion. Some of them grew up in villages (where) they went home to see daddy beating mommy. They go to school, teachers beating children. So they believe if they have a problem, they have to beat somebody”.Granger also referred to child sexual abuse and incest as a form of violence against children. He also lamented Guyana’s relatively high rates of femicide and suicide, citing reports such as the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean.“Domestic violence has resulted in discord, in division, and sometimes in death within families. Domestic violence involving intimate partners and spouses increased by 14 per cent, between 2011 and 2017. Females accounted for more than 80 per cent of all domestic violence victims”.“Then we have femicide, the killing of a woman or girl and Guyana has one of the highest rates of femicide in the Caribbean, according to the ECLAC study. And suicide is a social ill, a form of violence, self-inflicted. And this has had a deleterious effect on families”.The event that Granger attended saw a number of religious leaders within the church also addressing the issue of family life. The President was also presented with various literature on the topic, while a plaque was unveiled commemorating the centennial.Interpersonal violence has taken on a national prominence of recent because of high profile cases that have made their way into the public discussion through social media. In one case, a male Richard Ishmael student was caught on video brutally assaulting a female student.In another case, a teacher was violently assaulted, allegedly by the parent of one of her students, in retaliation for the purported abuse of the child while in school. It subsequently emerged that that parent was fingered in the beating of another woman at her husband’s workplace.