Mar 16, 2020

How Corona Virus Affect Special Needs Children

The sudden halt to all normal school and social activities since from March 16, 2020 will result in many physical outbursts as anticipated by many parents with special needs children as the sudden change in their routines while special needs children are confined to their homes for an entire month to protect and prevent the spread of the dreaded coronavirus. 

Special Needs Children get very combative when they are restricted and their routines changes.  This situation will become an extraordinary test case for the restrictive new reality soon to be felt by dozens of special needs kids and their families across the country. 

The virus that causes COVID-19 is being passed from person to person through respiratory secretions. Experts think that the virus can also be spread by touching contaminated surfaces. For example, if you touch a doorknob or other surfaces that an infected person has touched or sneezed on then you touch your face, you could pick up the virus.

Special needs parents are marginalized and vulnerable in many ways including socially and financially, with products such as wipes, disposable diapers, paper towels, toilet tissue, hand sanitizers, etc being sold out they are left to fend for themselves in this crisis.

 All personal care items including but not limited to paper towels, wipes, tissue, hand sanitizer, rubbing alcohol, etc is sold out our special needs and domestic violence victims are at risk more than ever as they do not have the financial means to buy bulk like everyone else.

With your help we can raise the monies necessary to provide this vulnerable and marginalized population the necessary supplies to protect themselves from this dreaded virus.

 

 

Dec 26, 2019

Why do Domestic Violence Victims Stay?

When it is a viable option, it is best for victims to do what they can to escape their abusers. However, this is not the case in all situations. Abusers repeatedly go to extremes to prevent the victim from leaving. In fact, stories from our clients suggests leaving an abuser or threatening to leave an abuser is the most dangerous time for a victim of domestic violence. Out of seven domestic homicides in 2016/17 families suggests that victims were planning to leave the relationship, however they were also afraid there was no safe space to go and their abuser may find them. 

Victim's reasons for staying with their abusers are based on the reality that their abuser will follow through with the threats they have used to keep them trapped: threats such as  - the abuser will hurt or kill them, they will hurt or kill the kids, they will win custody of the children, they will ruin their victim financially -- the list goes on. The victim in violent relationships knows their abuser best and fully knows the extent to which they will go to make sure they have and can maintain control over the victim. The victim literally may not be able to safely escape or protect those they love.

In 2018 we worked with forty two (42) domestic violence and seventy one (71) in 2019, this is what we learnt from our interviews. 

  • The fear that the abuser's actions will become more violent and may become lethal if the victim attempts to leave.
  • Unsupportive family and friends networks 
  • Knowledge of the difficulties of single parenting and reduced financial circumstances
  • The victim feeling that the relationship is a mix of good times, love and hope along with the manipulation, intimidation and fear.
  • The victim's lack of knowledge of or access to safety and support
  • Fear of losing custody of any children if they leave or divorce their abuser or fear the abuser will hurt, or even kill, their children
  • Lack of means to support themselves and/or their children financially or lack of access to cash, bank accounts, or assets
  • Lack of having somewhere to go (e.g. no friends or family to help, no money for travel as the country is small and one can easily be found,
  • The women's support shelter was full or limited by length of stay
  • Fear that homelessness may be their only option if they leave
  • Belief that two parent households are better for children, despite abuse
  • Inconsistency of abuse; during non-violent phases, the abuser may fulfill the victim's dream of romantic love. The victim may also rationalize the abuser is basically good until something bad happens and they have to "let off steam." 

In 2020 we need your support to expand our shelter program and to ensure every victim has a place to go. 

Dec 19, 2019

Special Needs Children Are Still Marginalized

Three years later special needs children are still marginalized by the Government of Saint Lucia, special needs children's allowance was cut from $110 to $78 putting additional pressure on poor families to provide for their special needs children. Disposible diapers and wipes are extremely expensive on island as it attracts high importation fees, while the government has cut funding it has implemented no politics to provide relief. 

While our funding goals fell short this year we still continued to support eleven (11) special needs children our of a total of forty two families who contacted us for support, providing disposible diapers, wipes, chucks and non perishable foods.

We are working to get core funding so we may better support special needs children by including them in our work program and making them a more visible part of our mission and goals. 

We continue to hope that locals will step up and contribute to supporting special needs children from poor marginalized families in 2020.

 
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