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Raising the social consciousness of physical, sexual and emotional abuse


Published: May 28, 2013

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The Commonwealth of The Bahamas is a beautiful country and place to live. It has its share of social ills reflective of many other sovereign nations within the Caribbean and global community. Many of the problems we face in our general society are problems that have sprouted from the decay of the family structure, or that have begun in our homes and eventually manifested in the behavior of our citizens at a local and even global level. Many problems face both our country and world, such as an increase in poverty, rising unemployment, a global increase in crude oil prices, which affects every facet of life today. Further to these are a rise in crime, a constant rise in the cost of living without an increase in salary to compensate and a general sense of hopelessness due to so many ever-increasing stresses.

Whether it is due to socioeconomic factors or any other that can contribute, one of the greatest problems in our society today is an increase in the amount of abuse and violence against women, children and men in the home. Abuse in homes contributes to emotional and mental distress, which affects all of the sexes and all areas of society. The result is a cycle of abuse that is in the form of physical, mental, sexual and emotional abuse that occurs.

The Crisis Centre, formerly known as The Women's Crisis Centre, is a registered, nonprofit organization that provides services to people who are the victims of physical, sexual and emotional abuse. Dr. Sandra Dean-Patterson, who saw an urgent need in the community for such a facility, opened 
the center in 1982. During the time the center has been in operation, the number of volunteers has grown steadily and the scope of services rendered to the community has been considerably expanded.

Because of the center’s extensive efforts, through radio shows, newspaper articles, workshops, school talks and other presentations to churches and civic organizations, to sensitize the community to the devastating effects of all forms of abuse, persons from all socio-economic levels are seen at the center.

In its endeavor to continue both informing and educating the public about the reality of abuse in our society and its effects, the Bahamas Crisis Centre has launched a program geared towards raising social consciousness. The program’s focus is to actively reach out to the community to educate about the different forms of abuse and to continue its mission. The program will be in the form of a weekly column, which will be printed on Tuesdays in The Nassau Guardian touching on different forms of abuse, legislation relating to the same and the manner in which to identify and seek help. In addition to the column there will also be community outreach where volunteers will be going into communities from door to door, handing out information pamphlets and answering questions individual families might have about the work of the Crisis Centre and about getting needed help. The Crisis Centre will also be sending out information relating to both the column and community outreach via social media and web-based media.

The Crisis Centre’s continued mission is to work on seeing our country and world healed of abuse and violence and to work towards a peaceful today and tomorrow.

• For more information, check out our website at www.bahamascrisiscentre.org or contact us. Email us at bahamascrisiscentre@yahoo.com or call us at 328-0922. If you, or someone you know, have been the victim of child abuse, you can also call Child Protective Services at 322-2POD, 326-1451, 326-0526 or 326-5560 or the Child Abuse Hotline: 322-2763.


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