Monday 17 June, 2019

Raise Your Voice seeks funding for women’s shelter

Raise Your Voice, a not for profit and non-government organization that advocates for and on behalf of women and children who are victims of domestic violence, rape, physical and sexual abuse and those who lack access to swift justice, is seeking public assistance (funding) in providing and stocking women’s shelters.

Claiming that women’s shelters offer temporary refuge for women escaping acts of domestic violence or intimate partner violence, the group said that the funds being sought will help to incentivize and support escape from domestic violence.

The group also said that many women become homeless in these types of situations because they are financially dependent on their abuser.

“In our experience as advocates the existing domestic violence framework is highly ineffective. Victims who are too afraid to go to the police and NGO community for help suffer in silence until it is too late,” the group noted in a release.

Members claimed that even when the police are called in, they leave the abuser with a warning not to engage in domestic violence and then leave the victim in the situation without any real help.

“Domestic violence shelters are so important to help women break free from their horrid conditions and offer an environment that helps them stay free, as well as without fear of murder.  One-third of female homicide victims are women killed by an intimate partner, as they try to leave their abusers,” noted the group.

The group believes that having somewhere safe to hide from their abuser is vital to women of abuse saying that many times women leave quickly with their children while their partner is away.

“They take nothing more than the clothes on their backs in their desperate attempt to get away before being seen.  Shelters are wonderful havens that provide food, shelter, clothing, and victim assistance to those seeking refuge,” noted the group in its release.

“With the economic downturn and the need for more donated funds, Raise Your Voice Saint Lucia is struggling to provide support for more women, while being understaffed and having more and more women to serve. That’s why your help is even more important to stock the shelter, raise needed funds, and increase volunteers and victim morale,” the group noted, adding that volunteers and supporters are always needed and that there should be a domestic violence shelter in almost every district or constituency on island.

According to the group the public could help by donating clothing saying that women many times leave their homes very quickly without packing. All they take with them are their children and the clothes on their backs.

The group also believes that a great way to assist would be by donating clothing or offer to personally shop for them if they cannot leave the shelter. Having an extra change of clothing when they have nothing would help and for survivors who are ready to leave the shelter, gift cards to help them get professional work attire as this is a great way to help them with the process of securing a job and building a new, independent life.

The group is also calling for items like soap, shampoo, conditioner, shaving cream, razors, deodorant, toothbrushes and paste, tampons and pads, diapers, wipes and more of such items as they are needed by women who had to leave their homes quickly.

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