Shelter for Battered Women and Children to hold annual Tea Fundraiser
Port of Spain, Trinidad, June 25, 2017
The Shelter for Battered Women and Children will be holding their annual Tea Fundraiser on June 30th as part of their ongoing activities to raise funds for the services they provide to women and children who have been victims of physical and emotional abuse. The Afternoon Tea will be hosted by Her Excellency, Ms. Yvonne Webber, wife of the Australian High Commissioner, at their residence in Moka, Maraval. The much-anticipated event, which has received support from bmobile, will feature a silent art auction of the works of renowned local artists: Beverley Fitzwilliam-Harries, Donald ‘Jackie’ Hinkson, Abigail Sabeeney, Peter Sheppard and Trevor Rostant.
Chairman, Anthony Inglefield, explained that The Shelter is a safe house for survivors of domestic violence from all over the country. Referrals mainly come from 800-SAVE but they also get from the embassies, social workers, police stations and the Children’s Authority. They have on occasion also housed human trafficking victims. The Shelter caters for up to 26 persons and offers communal living where the women are encouraged to support each other. “The women and girls are of different ages and we accept boys up to 10 years. However, we do try as much as possible to keep families together. Among the current residents, we have abused and abandoned children.”
Inglefield continued, “The length of stay at The Shelter varies on a case by case basis. The counselling provided guides how we manage their care and by extension their stay. We’ve had women stay for days to as much as a year. Unfortunately too, so many of them are financially vulnerable, they do not have anywhere to go. What we don’t want to happen is they go back into the abusive situation they escaped from. Our aim is to provide the support they need to leave feeling empowered and in control of their lives.”
The Shelter offers temporary housing; crisis intervention; counseling; meals; clothing; medical services; legal assistance; food cards and assistance with job placement. The Shelter seeks to ensure children continue their education by providing support as needed, including uniforms, school supplies and activities for the children. It is also in the process of developing programmes for job training, life skills and a network of support services for the residents after they leave The Shelter.
Graeme Suite, TSTT’s Senior Manager Brand, Public Relations and External Affairs stated, “bmobile is excited to support the work of organisations like The Shelter that work to eliminate abuse and promote equality especially among vulnerable persons in our society. We need to be always willing to work towards eliminating abuse and reverse its effects on women and children. It is necessary and important for the public to also partner in this special event to be a part of the community for change.”
Speaking about her involvement in The Shelter, Her Excellency, Ms. Webber said, “I have been able to teach and work in local communities in a range of activities that empower women and therefore strengthen the community. Domestic violence is something that I feel strongly about and we should do whatever we can to eradicate it from society and help survivors of domestic violence.” She continued, “I’m looking forward to making this an afternoon that people will remember, and also that they will remember why they are there and perhaps be motivated to find other ways in which they can contribute to places like The Shelter where survivors of domestic violence can be protected, sheltered and nurtured while they begin to put their lives back together.”
Thanking bmobile and Ms. Webber for their tremendous support, Inglefield said, “The costs of running The Shelter are an ongoing challenge. There are a number of additional support programmes we want to put in place so we are dependent on the kind support of the corporate community, the Diplomatic Corps and the public.” Inglefield indicated that the protected and confidential nature of a safe house required that they limit the number of persons visiting The Shelter. However, persons interested in supporting via the fundraiser or by other means can obtain more information on Facebook: The Shelter – A Safe Haven for Victims of Domestic Violence, the website: trinidadshelter.com or contact any of the committee members.