Saturday, April 13, 2024

Double blow to victims


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A double dose of pain is being inflicted on victims of domestic abuse.

In addition to physical blows, many of them are finding themselves without shelter and “begging for a lodging”.

Chairman of Advocates Against Domestic Abuse, Barbara Daniel, said while there was a need for another shelter or halfway house for victims of domestic abuse, donations were hard to come by.

“For us, having a place for people is at our forefront. We have not let go of that and it is something that in 2021 we really need to look at . . . we can be much more effective. Because not only myself, as a small charity, but the other charities which are working in any way connected with domestic abuse, feel the same way.

“To be honest if it’s one thing that’s holding us back, it’s finance. You could find a big old house . . . that is not a problem. There’s always somebody willing to sell you the land. Getting the money for us to even have the beginning of what we want to achieve is $1.5 million. That really would be our starting point. We are going to look bigger, outside of fundraising and look at GoFundMe,” she said.

Daniel said that generally people paid attention to abuse when “somebody has killed somebody” and it is reported in the newspaper.

She said homelessness was “a very real issue” for victims.

“For us as an organisation, the bulk of the people who contact us – and I can only speak for our organisation – are women at the lower end of the earning power. Therefore, rent becomes an issue. If you are not working and you’re getting welfare, then you have to find somebody who will accept welfare.

“Landlords as a whole, do not want to accept welfare. So that presents a really big issue . . . .We do not have a shortage of property. What we have a shortage of is people who are willing to take on welfare clients . . . . The pandemic has brought home how wide the need is,” she added.

Daniel said the charity was not looking for a place to house people permanently, but “a temporary gap” to help people within six or nine months with programmes that would have “long-term impact and long-term effect”, addressing emotional and psychological factors, lack of skills, literacy, and preparedness for jobs. (GBM)



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