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Community Response Teams - An Initiative to Mitigate Domestic Violence

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Contact: Claudia Monlouis

Wednesday, December 10, 2003 - The Ministry of Home Affairs and Gender Relations will, in the coming months, employ a new technique to assist in efforts to stem the tide of domestic violence in communities around the island. The project will recruit and provide training for persons to form what is termed “Community Response Teams”.

Director of Gender Relations Lera Pascal says, “Normally when domestic violence occurs, people tend to stay away and say this is not their concern, but if there is a group of people who are trained in making an initial intervention, I think it will go a long way in helping to alleviate the situation of domestic violence. So these community response teams will be volunteers who themselves are community spirited people, who want to give of their time to assist in the fight against domestic violence.”

Pascal says, the community response teams will serve as a first point of contact, and will be expected to act on behalf of both victims and perpetrators. As such, they will be trained in mediation, conflict resolution and counselling. They will also serve as linkages between community service providers and the victims.

The project will commence with six (6) workshops for 36 persons and will cover the communities of Anse La Raye, Canaries, Dennery, Laborie, Choiseul and Gros Islet. Pascal says, volunteers will be introduced to their respective communities as soon as the training is completed.

Funding for the project is being provided by CIDA’s Gender Equity Fund.

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