The Shelter for Battered Women and Children is asking for support from both the public and private sectors in society as some of its shelters have had to close.
Additionally, some of the opened shelters needs to be renovated, “but we were forced to partially reopen as all the shelters are full.”
According to a statement, the group has noticed that domestic violence has been endemic to the society for decades.
“Through the action of the Honourable Minister of National Security, the Honourable Attorney General and The Commissioner of Police steps have been and are being made to address this horror and bring some level of protection to our women and children. However, this is a national issue that requires a national solution and it cannot be short term.”
They said domestic violence survivors need holistic solutions. As a result, shelters need to be properly funded to provide the services needed.
“In our shelter, residents, including their children, receive all medical services, therapeutic counselling, and housing and this includes all personal supplies and meals and legal services. Children are placed in schools, and at this time, they are attending online classes, plus being supervised by a private teacher.”
They said the ideal situation also includes the following measures:
- Skillset training for adult residents.
- Provision of temporary free housing for residents after it has been determined that first, it is safe for them to leave and second, that they are emotionally and financially ready for this transition.
- Continued therapy including home visits.
- Perpetrator therapy to break the cycle of violence and enable positive co-parenting.
The group said that the shortlist above highlights the support needed from public and private stakeholders.
The Shelter for Battered Women and Children was established in 1987, by Diana Mahabir-Wyatt.
They said they know what is needed to aid victims from being a potentially a name in a death announcement to positive contributors to society. It is, unfortunately, a sad statistic that children who are brought up in a domestic violence environment tend to repeat the same lifestyle choices.
“We know what to do, but we need the support and cooperation. We would like to establish a joint sector oversight committee to work with us and establish working protocols and finance to achieve our goals.”
They added that laws alone are not all that is needed, policing alone is not all that is needed.
“There is the practical day to day dealing with and providing the healing process, that is what we do. It is a fact that the necessary actions of the Government to protect the nation during COVID 19 has placed additional strain on relationships.”
They added that part of rebuilding must include rebuilding the lives of our beaten and broken women and children.