Minister of Youth, Family and Sports, Dr. Esther Byer Suckoo

Survivors of domestic violence and other forms of aggression, will soon have another place to turn for solace, when the Service Alliance for Violent Encounters (SAVE) Foundation is launched.

An official ceremony is scheduled for next Monday, March 30, beginning at 10:00 a.m. in the foyer of the Tom Adams Financial Centre, to launch the non-governmental organisation. Minister of Youth, Family and Sports, Dr. Esther Byer Suckoo, will deliver the feature address, while the Acting Director of the Bureau of Gender Affairs, Patricia Hackett-Codrington, will give remarks.

Chairperson of the SAVE Foundation, Liesel Daisley, who is a survivor of domestic violence, said the organisation was established to join forces with other stakeholders to bring about awareness of the issue. She pointed out: “We want to help males and females who are victims and survivors of domestic violence, and bring changes to our laws”. She explained that this was necessary “because no one can be charged with domestic violence; the police records state assault, so it is difficult for us to keep track of the number of incidents.

“We also want to advocate for the local adoption of measures outlined in international and regional conventions, agreements and Plans of Action to combat domestic violence, and offer training and awareness programmes for stakeholders,” Ms. Daisley stated.

She added that she wanted the police force to take the issue more seriously, explaining that when she was a victim of domestic violence overseas, the police there told her to seek counselling. “Society has made women [and survivors of domestic violence] feel we should be ashamed, but it is the abuser who should be embarrassed and in hiding, not the abused. It is an issue that we should not be silent on,” the chairperson underscored.

Domestic violence is a pervasive feature of both developed and developing societies, and it “knows no class, race, geographic boundary or marital status”.

SAVE Foundation “is in pursuit of an ideal where societies are free from domestic violence, free from torture and pain, and free from the subjection of inferior gender relations”.

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