The Safeguarding Directorate has signed an agreement with the United Nations for the sum of $150,000 USD to develop a ‘Safe Haven’ for women who are fleeing domestic violence on St Helena.  Project management has already commenced on the initiative – securing planning and development permission and beginning the procurement process for this long planned project.

The location for the Safe Haven will now undergo a renovation to accommodate the shelter.  Further training and development of staff on domestic issues will also occur – in addition to producing awareness campaigns for the wider community.

Policy Development Officer, Cilla McDaniel, said:

“Building a safe haven and offering solace to victims of domestic abuse is an issue that I have pursued over the last two decades and, after many hurdles, funding has finally become available.” 

“Domestic violence and violence against women happens in St Helena as it does in most communities and raised awareness over the last few years has opened up what was once a taboo community issue.  Now, more than ever, women are coming forward for assistance and it is essential to help them.  This Safe Haven will be one aspect of helping these women to reclaim their independence.”  

Under the project, the designated building will be converted to accommodate a three bedroom shelter, with some shared facilities.  In addition to providing safe accommodation for women fleeing domestic abuse, the refuge will provide training and support so that victims are better able to manage their lives and keep themselves and their dependents more safety aware . The project will also target multi-agency and community awareness and policy development to safeguard victims to maximise the sustainability of the Safe Haven.

SHG

24 August 2015

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