Over 1000 persons have called the domestic violence hotline since its launch seven months ago.

This disclosure has come from Chairperson of the Service Alliance for Violent Encounters (SAVE) Foundation, Liesel Daisley, who revealed that 98 per cent of the calls were from women and two per cent from men.

"We receive about five to six calls daily, from as early as 5:00 a.m. and as late as 2:00 a.m. The stories we hear are very sad and it is very unfortunate because some perpetrators seem to treat their dogs better than they treat their spouses," Ms. Daisley lamented.

The national hotline for victims and perpetrators of domestic violence was launched last February 13, and is a joint project between the Ministry of Family, Culture, Sports and Youth and SAVE Foundation. The telephone line has been donated by LIME for three years, in the first instance, and the number is 43-ABUSE (432-2873).

Ms. Daisley pointed out that calls were also received from teenage girls, members of the disabled community and the elderly, who alleged they were abused by family members. In some instances, she stated, the incidents were reported to other relatives, who expressed disbelief and dismissed the accusations.

She added, however, that the counsellors were able to refer the victims to the necessary agencies, including the National Housing Corporation, Welfare Department and Community Legal Services, while others received in-house counselling.???? Meanwhile, the SAVE Foundation will be offering a six-week training programme, starting later this month. In addition to learning about domestic violence and legal protection, among other areas, the participants are expected to develop call handling and crisis intervention skills.

??Persons interested in participating in the training should call 432-2873 or email savefoundation@live.com.

Additionally, SAVE Foundation will soon release a handbook which will answer some of the legal questions people have relating to domestic violence, protection orders and the Protection Order Act. saustin@barbados.gov.bb

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