Got a chance to visit The Shelter…a safe haven for women affected by domestic violence, and was thoroughly impressed by the secluded home in which the victims are housed. Public Affairs Officer at The Shelter, Elizabeth Sankar (seen below in 1st pic sitting), graciously provided me with a tour of the secluded sanctuary.
The story we hear too often is that there are a lack of beds at any given time, and that was no exception here. Domestic violence is rampant on the island and The Shelter operates with limited resources. Overall they run a great operation despite that, and was particularly impressed with the children’s indoor and outdoor play areas (pics below).
The Shelter has 26 beds and Sankar said, “the majority of these women are fleeing with children, so it is important for the child to know that Mummy is going to be o.k. We want them to know that they are also going to become survivors too. We have an intense counselling programme for the children. They have one-on-one counselling and group counselling. It is so important to work with them and stop this cycle. Nine times out of 10 someone that is an abuser was once abused themselves so we have to stop that.”
I was able to introduce the White Ribbon Campaign to both Liz and Ria (Shelter employee). Both explained how important the Campaign’s message is which can help to change the narrative on the issue. If you know anyone in the Caribbean that is in an abusive relationship, please call 800-SAVE to find out resources available.
If you would like to donate or find out more information about The Shelter, please visit: http://trinidadshelter.com/