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Best practices in Trinidad and Tobago in the campaign to end gender based violence

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Presentation on theme: "Best practices in Trinidad and Tobago in the campaign to end gender based violence"— Presentation transcript:

1 Prepared by: Siobhan Burroughs (Rape Crisis Society of Trinidad and Tobago)

2 Best practices in Trinidad and Tobago in the campaign to end gender based violence
Prepared by Siobhan Burroughs (Rape Crisis Society of Trinidad and Tobago) Prepared by: Siobhan Burroughs (Rape Crisis Society of Trinidad and Tobago)

3 Gender Based Violence “any act of violence that results in physical, sexual, or psychological harm or suffering to women; including threats of such acts, coercion, or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or private life” (Population Reference Bureau, 2001 pg. 3). The UN General Assembly, in adopting the 1993 declaration on the elimination of violence against women defined gender-based violence as the aforementioned. Prepared by: Siobhan Burroughs (Rape Crisis Society of Trinidad and Tobago)

4 Gender-based violence
Umbrella term for any harm that is perpetrated against a person’s will, and that results from power inequalities that are based on gender roles. Gender-based violence tends to have a greater negative impact on women and girls. Hence the term "Gender-based Violence" is often used interchangeably with the term "Violence against Women" (VAW). Health and Human Rights Info, 2012 (http://www.hhri.org/thematic/gender_based_violence.html) Prepared by: Siobhan Burroughs (Rape Crisis Society of Trinidad and Tobago)

5 Gender Based Violence Gender-based violence threatens women’s right to life and to security of the person. Examples: domestic violence; child abuse; incest; rape; forced pregnancy; sexual trafficking; violence in armed conflict, such as murder and rape; and emotional abuse, such as coercion and abusive language; forced marriage; sexual harassment; and intimidation at work. Domestic violence- physical, sexual, emotional, or psychological or financial abuse committed by someone against a spouse, child, or any other person who is a member of the household or a dependant. Emotional and Psychological abuse- a pattern of behavior of any kind, the purpose of which is to undermine the emotional or mental well-being of a person. Prepared by: Siobhan Burroughs (Rape Crisis Society of Trinidad and Tobago)

6 Trinidad and Tobago State Party to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) 1979 and the Inter- American Convention on the Prevention, Punishment and Eradication of Violence against Women 1994. has a legal obligation to protect women and girls from domestic violence and sexual violence including sexual harassment. State actors and lawmakers in Trinidad and Tobago have a legal duty to comply with the terms of the international human rights conventions that Trinidad and Tobago has ratified or acceded to. The State is required to put the necessary legal and administrative mechanisms in place to adequately protect women and girls from these forms of violence and to provide them with access to just and effective remedies. There must be sustained efforts by the State (such as continuous training of law enforcement personnel and judicial officers, sensitizing the media, educating the public) to challenge the stereotypical attitudes dominant in Trinidad and Tobago which help to perpetuate violence against women and girls. Prepared by: Siobhan Burroughs (Rape Crisis Society of Trinidad and Tobago)

7 Strategies to address Gender-based Violence
The Constitution of Trinidad and Tobago 1976: protects the human rights of all persons within Trinidad and Tobago holds the State accountable for violation of human rights. the supreme law (Constitution) Prepared by: Siobhan Burroughs (Rape Crisis Society of Trinidad and Tobago)

8 The Government is committed to full gender equity and thus seeks to create a gender sensitive society that fosters awareness of women’s issues and rights. Renewed emphasis on family and labour law; protection against violence and maternal health; encouraging women’s participation in all aspects of public life; the overall objective being to develop public policy and implement gender-sensitive practices Prepared by: Siobhan Burroughs (Rape Crisis Society of Trinidad and Tobago)

9 Legislation Creation of appropriate legislation to address different aspects of GBV Domestic Violence Act 45:56 Sexual Offenses Act 11:28 Children’s Authority Act 68:2000 Other relevant laws include: • Summary Offences Act Chap. 11:02 • Offences Against the Person (Amendment) (Harassment) Chap. 11:08 • Legal Aid and Advice Act Chap. 7:07 The laws which address which specifically address gender-based violence in Trinidad and Tobago are the: • Domestic Violence Act :56 which has been amended by section 53 of the Police Complaints Authority Act 2006 • Sexual Offences Act Chap. 11:28 “2006 Rev” Children’s Authority Act 68:2000 Summary Offences Act Chap. 11:02 “2006 Rev” (assault and battery etc.) Offences against the Person Act Chap. 11:08 “2006 Rev” (criminalizes assaults, acts causing danger to life or bodily harm etc.) Offences Against the Person (Amendment) (Harassment) Act 11 of 2005 (which makes harassment a criminal offence) Legal Aid and Advice Act Chap. 7:07 “2006 Rev” (allows persons making applications pursuant to the domestic violence legislation and the sexual offences legislation to access legal aid) Prepared by: Siobhan Burroughs (Rape Crisis Society of Trinidad and Tobago)

10 Investigative and Procedural Manuals
Domestic Violence Sexual Offenses Purpose: to assist all ranks of security services to effectively and sensitively respond to reports of domestic violence or sexual violence and to take the appropriate criminal procedure measures to prosecute the suspect and protect the victim. Provide immediate injunctive relief to victims Ensure a prompt and just legal remedy for victims. Refer survivors as well as perpetrators for counselling Prepared by: Siobhan Burroughs (Rape Crisis Society of Trinidad and Tobago)

11 Rehabilitation of police stations
Rehabilitation of police stations to improve service to citizens by providing: reception area, rape crisis room, interview and identification rooms in order to protect identities and take reports (especially in cases of domestic abuse) specialized training in counseling support, crisis negotiation and grief counseling Prepared by: Siobhan Burroughs (Rape Crisis Society of Trinidad and Tobago)

12 Victim Support Unit Support for Victims and Witnesses to Crime
Purpose: to improving the service and support we provide to victims of and witnesses to crime. to bridge between the police and communities. Empower victims to go to court and face the person you are accusing to be able to reduce crime significantly, Provides assistance for Victims of: Sexual Assault Domestic Violence Child Abuse Stalking and Harassment Often referred to the: Domestic Violence Unit The Rape Crisis Society of Trinidad and Tobago (RCS) Retired Assistant Police Commissioner Margaret Sampson-Browne, now in charge of the Victim and Witness Support Unit (VWSU). The organization has been in existence since 2008 with the transformation of the Police Service, “Once you make a report...we will come and sit with you for statements, identification parades or network agencies. We are doing this to bridge between the police and communities,” Sampson-Browne said. 20 civilian officers were on call 24 hours a day and from 6 am to 6 pm. They would be assigned to the Sangre Grande, Fyzabad Police Stations, Anti-Kidnapping Unit and Homicide Bureau. Sampson-Browne Prepared by: Siobhan Burroughs (Rape Crisis Society of Trinidad and Tobago)

13 Community Mediation Centres
Mediation services is an alternative method of resolving conflict in communities throughout Trinidad. Community Mediation Centres proactively implement programmes that positively impact the way members of society respond to difficult life situations and conflicts. Trained and certified mediators can help resolve disputes between family members and within communities. Programmes provided by Community Mediation Centres include: Anger management for parents, adolescents and teens. Building trust. Managing conflict in families and communities. Leadership skills development. Agreements are not legally binding, but since it was designed by all parties involved and reached in good faith, there is an inherent understanding that it would be upheld. Prepared by: Siobhan Burroughs (Rape Crisis Society of Trinidad and Tobago)

14 The Domestic Violence Drop-in Centre provides:
counselling and other forms of intervention to victims or perpetrators of domestic violence, including victims of rape and incest. The National Family Services Division offers: free counselling services for individuals, groups and families. This service provides preventive, remedial and developmental counselling for people who may be facing a crisis or dealing with psychological problems. Drop-in Centres are open one day per week. Appointments are not required as services can be accessed on a "walk-in" basis. It 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. Prepared by: Siobhan Burroughs (Rape Crisis Society of Trinidad and Tobago)

15 HOTLINES Counseling and support are also available 24 hours a day through: the National Domestic Violence Hotline at (868) 800-SAVE (7283) The Rape Crisis Society of Trinidad and Tobag0 ( / ) Child Line (National Hotline for Students launched in February 2011) Child Line is a free 24 hr facility for children and young people (up to age 25 years) to call /text whenever they feel threatened. Child Line feeds this agencies info back to agencies to provide children with support that they need Prepared by: Siobhan Burroughs (Rape Crisis Society of Trinidad and Tobago)

16 Safe Houses Promote physical safety, economic security and well-being of victims Empower women and enable them to overcome consequences of violence to rebuild their lives Provide counselling services; group support; public education To advocate for justice for survivor and their children To forge alliances with other agencies working to create social change Prepared by: Siobhan Burroughs (Rape Crisis Society of Trinidad and Tobago)

17 NGOs working against Domestic Violence
Rape Crisis Society of Trinidad and Tobago Trinidad and Tobago Coalition Against Domestic Violence The Shelter Families in Action Madinah House Nekevah Rescue Center The Halfway House The Hope Shelter Goshen House Vision of Hope Vision of Hope is a Half Way House was established by the Eternal Light Community to provide care and support for Battered Women and their children in the La Brea area. In addition to the residential facilities, a school has been established to cater to the children of the residence as well as children from the area. Basic primary and vocational i.e. sewing is taught at the school. Prepared by: Siobhan Burroughs (Rape Crisis Society of Trinidad and Tobago)

18 Children’s Homes Provides a loving environment for disadvantaged or abused children (shelter, food, clothing and education) St Michael’s St. Jude’s St Mary’s Children Home St Dominic’s Children Home Emmanuel Community The Hope Centre (SOUTH) CREDO Foundation for Justice Sophia House Islamic Home for Children Bridge of Hope Mother’s Union Children’s Home Marion House Child Welfare League Bridge of Hope was established in 1998 to provide a home environment for disadvantaged children to grow and develop in. The aim is to create a loving family atmosphere for children between the ages of 6 months to 18 years. The home is striving to become a model providing shelter, food, clothing and education to abandoned and abused children. CREDO Foundation for Justice was founded in 1993 to deal with the increasing problem of children on the street. The CREDO Centre was opened in 1997 in partnership with the Ministry of Social Development to cater to boys. Later Sophia House was established to cater to young girls in distress. Goshen House provides shelter, protection, food and clothing to battered women and their children, and pregnant teenagers who find themselves in difficult situations that seem hopeless. The Hope Centre (SOUTH) provides services free of cost for children in the city of San Fernando. They work primarily with neglected, abandoned and orphaned children, focusing on placing children with foster parents. Islamic Home for Children provides a home for orphans, destitute and homeless children. The home has a capacity of 50 children from the ages of 5 to 11. Most of the children come from the San Fernando and surrounding areas. Prepared by: Siobhan Burroughs (Rape Crisis Society of Trinidad and Tobago)

19 National Plan of Action
The Government remains committed to the protection of children and the preservation of their rights. National Plan of Action Improving wellbeing of children by reducing neglect and abuse Sensitization lectures to increase awareness about the Convention for the rights of the child Review existing systems with the aim of strengthening these systems and develop appropriate action plans. The Children’s Authority- seeking to establish standards of care in children’s homes The Children’s Villages Association of Trinidad and Tobago (CVATT) is one of the major institutions focused on improving standards in the management of children’s homes. Representatives of the organization regularly visit homes, to meet with administrators of the homes and is developing a model for building the capacity of homes willing to work with CVATT to improve the provision of care for abandoned and abused children. They also host regular capacity building workshops dealing with issues affecting the homes. Prepared by: Siobhan Burroughs (Rape Crisis Society of Trinidad and Tobago)

20 Ministry of Gender Youth and Child Development
Collaborates with state, international, regional bodies, academic institutions and civil societies to promote an active and visible gender mainstreaming of all ministries programmes, policies and projects. Gender Training Awareness and Sensitization Programmes. ongoing gender training and sensitization with various agencies, including government ministries, the armed forces, schools and the general public through publication, workshops, TV and radio programmes. Prepared by: Siobhan Burroughs (Rape Crisis Society of Trinidad and Tobago)

21 Initiatives in 2011 Public Sensitization on Child Abuse and Domestic Violence In November 2010, a series of public forums on child abuse and domestic violence were launched. Sensitization of out of school youth about issues of DV and child abuse. Collaboration with Managers of Shelters the preparation of Terms of Reference for the establishment of a shelter for victims of domestic violence. Based on many requests obtained from public sensitization community forums for additional facilities to provide this service. In November 2010, the Ministry launched a series of public forums on child abuse and domestic violence to coincide with Universal Children’s Day, which commemorates the anniversary of the signing of the CRC. Last one in Tobago march 2011 Community Drop-in-Centres. There are nine (9) Community Drop-in Centres including the Arima Resource Centre for men and boys- workshops held Prepared by: Siobhan Burroughs (Rape Crisis Society of Trinidad and Tobago)

22 Partnership with the Institute of Gender and Development Studies (IGDS) and NGOs - Break the silence Marches / Walks against violence were coordinated. Child Abuse Registry - A data collection mechanism and staffing requirements identified in the initial planning. Central Registry on Gender based/Domestic Violence The Report and Recommendations of a pilot on the Establishment of a Central registry for DV in T&T National Parenting Programmes established to ensure that parents have the necessary skill sets to adequately meet the individual needs of their children. SWOT analysis to explore factors that impede or assist parenting. Parenting education for those who are not yet parents to equip them with the know and skills for responsible decision making help them make Developing guidelines for effective parenting T&T Innovative Parenting Support. Many persons become parents without having a clue about how to parent their children effectively. The Trinidad and Tobago Innovative Parenting Support (TTIPS) was established to fill the void in the availability of materials in this area. TTIPS started a newsletter which now serves as a mini encyclopedia for parents addressing many current issues impacting on family life and early childhood development. They also host annual workshops in areas such as discipline and anger management. Prepared by: Siobhan Burroughs (Rape Crisis Society of Trinidad and Tobago)

23 Preparation of a Draft Social Marketing Campaign on Child Protection
Key social sector stakeholders collaborated to educate and sensitize the public on child protection issues Preparation to conduct a National Symposium on Child Protection and Implementation of the Child Protection Decree – A draft proposal for the conduct of the National Symposium was prepared. Prepared by: Siobhan Burroughs (Rape Crisis Society of Trinidad and Tobago)

24 Launch of National Hotline for Students - In February
The Ministry of Education launched the National Hotline for students. The Hotline is a free 24 hr facility for children and young people (up to age 25 years) to call /text whenever they feel threatened. ChildLine feeds this agencies info back to agencies to provide children with support that they need Prepared by: Siobhan Burroughs (Rape Crisis Society of Trinidad and Tobago)


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