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Jul 3, 2019

INADEQUATE SHELTER FOR DOMESTIC VIOLENCE VICTIMS

Saint Lucia has one domestic violence shelter in the north of the island, therefore, every domestic violence victims  must be transportated to this one shelter, most instances the shelter is inundated because our domestic violence  situation is at a critical state with no obvious support for victims including the absence of a domestic violence act. 

Our initial mandate was to advocate for and on behalf of women and children who are victims of violence and lack of access to swift justice. Our work is hard and tedious because entrenched cultures make change difficult, therefore it is necessary to be persistent in our efforts to raise awareness and educate everyone on the detrimental effects of gender base violence on us as individuals, on homes, families and the country. Coupled with these responsibilities we are hosting women who cannot go to the shelter or stay at their own homes because of the threat of harm by intimate partners and partners who threaten the safety and security of their children 

For the Period 2013/15 the Division of Human Services reported eight hundred and twelve cases (812) cases of child abuse, categorized as physical abuse, verbal/psychological abuse, sexual abuse and abandonment/neglect;

For the period 2013 to 2014 & 2016 the Family Court reported a total of one thousand and thirty (1039) nine cases of domestic violence, figures for 2015 were not available;

For the period 2015 the Vulnerable Persons Unit of the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force recorded 112 cases of sexual assault/rape and 52 cases of domestic violence, in 2016 the department recorded 250 cases of this total 36 were domestic violence and 214 were sexual assault and rape;

For the period 2013/16 the Women Support Shelter recorded a total of 1076 domestic violence crisis calls, there was a marked increase in 2016 reflecting a total of 435 crisis calls.  

These statistics show a startling and persistent increase in gender based violence, we believe public education and awareness, increased resources (human, training and capacity building) to social services agencies is critical to minimize the high rate of gender based violence, critical legislation to provide a more equitable environment and minimize legal victimization of women and children have been pending for  very, very long.

We continue to struggle for resources to assist victims while being thankful for those who support our work and vision.

A SAFE SPACE FOR VICTIMS TO BE DEBRIEFED, SHELTERED AND SUPPORTED IS CRITICAL FOR EVERYONE. 

Jun 24, 2019

What we should really give special needs children

Our work with children and their families is centered on providing the mimimum assistance because of limited resources i.e. disposibles - diapers, wipes, non perishable foods, assessments to ensure those who can attend mainstream education ae allowed to do so and those who can attend specialized educationl centers are given an opportunity as well. 

What special needs children really need is to ensure every child/young/person with special needs have is independence and is included and to help them develop life skills, such as - 

  • Complex needs
  • Sensory needs
  • Physical needs
  • Autistic Spectrum Disorders
  • Life-limiting conditions
  • Other needs.

Children with special needs required the same things others take for granted such as 

  • outings
  • accessing community facilities
  • promoting independence
  • personal care
  • specialist tasks.

Life would have been extremely difficult, in fact could have resulted in parents of special needs children having them in very unsanitory and unhealth situation without the help we have received so from our donors and supporters.

Your continued assistance is critical to help us achieve our goals for special needs children i.e  -

  • Raise  public awareness on the challenges special needs children and by extentsion special needs persons face,  both financially and culturally where special needs persons are just put in a corner and wait for them to die eventually.  
  • Influence society to advocate with us to intorduce improve policies and access for special needs persons
  • Work with family , community  and other local partners to develop strong networks to protect the rights of special needs persons
  • Support the growth and development of solutions for families, especially preventative and early intervention services to provide a path for self sufficiency for special needs persons.

Your help is imperative. 

Mar 25, 2019

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE VICTIMS NEEDS YOUR DONATIONS

Over the last five years domestic homicide has risen to unprecedented levels, in 2017 we had seven domestic homicides, over the last year we have had at least three women killed  by their partners and investigations revealed post death that they had been trying to leave the relationship but with no where to go. 

We need an Emergency Shelter for survivors of domestic violence and their children.

Because emergency services must be available to women and children who are unsafe in their present living situation.

This proposed safe house will provide three meals per day, toiletries, and other daily essentials such as diapers and laundry facilities, but most importantly emotional and psychological support and safety. 

Advocates will provide help with attaining goals, referrals to other agencies and services, and counseling. Residents and their children will be provided with several opportunities to attend support groups and other special activities throughout their stay.

Our Domestic Violence Services Program (DVS) will provide emotional and practical support to survivors of domestic violence, primarily those who will be accomondated at the proposed safe house. Our goal is to help survivors to become or remain safe and autonomous.

Legal Advocates will provide assistance and support to survivors of domestic violence as they engage with the criminal or civil legal system. These services include matters involving criminal charges against the batterer, matters involving criminal charges against the survivor, obtaining and enforcing personal protection orders, pursuing divorce and child custody issues,  landlord/tenant issues, and other matters. Legal Advocates will also be available for court accompaniment to all court hearings.

We cannot continue to allow victims of domestic violence to be on their own and being killed trying to figure a way out. 

 
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