St. Lucia Crisis Centre – Prevention and Reduction of all Forms of Abuse

By Milena Rampoldi, ProMosaik. In the following another interview about women and how to help women. We talked to Andrew about the objectives and activities of the St. Lucia Crisis Centre,  founded in 1987, and dedicated to the prevention of reduction of all forms of abuse against men and women to strengthen our society. ProMosaik is convinced that helping women includes the support of the society and a whole. Over the past 12 years the Crisis Centre has provided counselling and other assistance to over 6000 victims of domestic abuse, including sufferers of rape, incest and sexually abused children. In recent months there has been a general consensus among local and regional social workers that domestic abuse and violence is on the increase in St. Lucia as well as in the rest of the Caribbean.
 What is the main objective of the St. Lucia Crisis Centre?
Our main objective is the elimination of all forms of abuse from the society, by providing psychological support through counselling, education, specific referrals and networking with agencies that have similar objectives.
What does domestic violence means and which are the most important forms of domestic violence?
Domestic violence covers any incident of threatening, violent or abusive behaviour by persons in an intimate or family type relationship.  The most prevalent forms we see here are the verbal and physical. These seem to be the foundation for other forms as well.
Which services do you offer to victims of domestic violence?
Our services to victims include: Individual counselling, family therapy, after-school programme to help students with their homework and civic responsibilities; periodic workshops on domestic violence and parenting skills, Hotline service, Talks and media sessions on ways to manage stress and domestic violence, referrals, giving advice and hosting empowerment programmes like skills training and workshops on interpersonal relationships and work ethics (when funds are available).
Which are the most important strategies to help women out?
Counselling, empowerment programmes to help them see themselves in a more positive light, and skills training.
How to help children?
Children need a lot of counseling, help with their homework, guidance on etiquette, financial support and referrals to other social service providers.
What have you reached until now and what would you like to achieve in the near future?
Our agency has so far made a small contribution in creating awareness of domestic violence and its consequences, we have hosted camps for needy children, we have done skills training and empowerment exercises for women when funds are available, and we have built goodwill with the society at large.
In the future, we would like to employ more staff, host a texting platform where people, especially the youth can text for help, have greater collaboration with the schools to help more children and to have a permanent home owned by the Centre.