With an estimated 1.2 million inhabitants Trinidad & Tobago is one of the smallest English-speaking countries in the world, and takes center stage on #Day11 of #16Days of Activism. The Ministry of the People & Social Development there argues that violence against women remains a pervasive challenge in the 21st century. The government operates Drop-In Centres for survivors which “offers counselling and other forms of intervention to victims or perpetrators of domestic violence, including victims of rape and incest. This programme also provides information and referral services to persons who require assistance to deal with other personal and family issues such as drug abuse, anger management, conflict management and teenage pregnancy. Counseling and support are also available 24 hours a day through the National Domestic Violence Hotline at (868) 800-SAVE (7283).” The centers are open:
Manzanilla Community Centre – 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
La Horquetta Regional Complex – 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Monroe Road Community Centre – 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Chaguanas Community Centre – 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Maloney Community Centre – 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Valencia Community Centre – 4:30 pm to 6:00 pm
Maracas Valley Community Centre – 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm
Penal Central Community Centre – 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Valencia Community Centre – 1:00 pm to 6:00 pm
Maracas Valley Community Centre – 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Families in Action is “an effort to address the growing problem of drug addiction emerging in our communities.” They operate a 24/7 helpline to support people facing addiction at (868) 628-2333 and offer referrals, counseling and community outreach. The Caribbean NGO Database offers numerous resources throughout Trinidad & Tobago and the entire Caribbean community that address gender-based violence.
Many organizations are listed under the Caribbean NGO Database so that they can have the most impact. Madina House is a Muslim-run shelter for women and their children (boys under 12) who are escaping Domestic Violence. The Hope Shelter originated as a sort of co-op shelter where the participants staying there would assist with farming and ranching. The Nekeva Rescue Centre aims to “provide a safe place where abused women can be rehabilitated to become self-sufficient, productive members of society.” The Halfway House “offers a secure and supporting atmosphere in which battered women and children receive food and shelter, professional counselling services, and legal assistance.”
The Rape Crisis Society of Trinidad & Tobago was created “to address the issues of sexual and Domestic Violence, particularly as they impact on the most vulnerable members of society, through counselling and public education.” Their objectives were outlined as follows:
-To Lobby for the development of laws, institutions and procedures to protect women and children and to deter would- be offenders
-To educate the public and would-be offenders about sexual violence issues through our outreach programmes (Lectures, workshops, panel discussion, videos)
-To improve the quality of service and support provided by the centre especially in the counselling of volunteers and clients
-To maintain and establish links with organisations devoted to the empowerment and advancement of women and with other institutions concerned with social development and research
-To improve organisation structures and systems , and the overall management of the Rape Crisis Society.
The Organization for Abused and Battered Individuals was established with the hope of “work[ing] in the area of violence prevention, training and education, and the enhancement of life.” A large part of the work they do is in Prevention Training, they also provide:
- All services include an holistic approach and includes Education, Professional and Personal Life, Health and Spirituality (awareness of peace and purpose)
Prevention training for private and public organizations.
Prevention training for schools and religious institutions.
Prevention training for communities and grassroots NGO’s
Training for persons who deal with victims of abuse and care for children who are victims of the same.
Group support for victims of abuse.
Strong Referral Programs
Victim Assistant support and training.
Poverty alleviation and training to become self-sustainable.
While there are not many organizations in Trinidad & Tobago working on gender equality and putting an end to domestic violence, the ones that are there seem to be doing great work. Let’s support them in creating a violence-free Caribbean… and world.