A fund to cater to the needs of victims of domestic violence, both female and male, was launched yesterday on International Women’s Day, with the organizer planning a telethon for next month.
The venture is an initiative of the Barbados Faces website which is produced by Shelly Ross.
“The Battered Persons Fund is intended to assist persons who are involved in abusive relationships to get out of these relationships and also persons who have been severely physically hurt or disabled in any way to help them on their road to recovery,” she said at Divi Southwinds Resort, where Barbados Faces staged a breakfast seminar for young people to discuss how to avoid becoming victims of domestic violence.
“This is all in an effort to start a national Battered Persons Fund.”
Ross said a telethon has been scheduled for April 28.
“Next week on the Barbados Faces website, the bank account will be given so everybody can start donating, because . . . we don’t just want it to be a one-time donation. Persons can decide to donate something every month, they can decide to do the lump sum [donation] on the actual telethon day, or donate twice a year, because the Fund is going to need constant support and people out there need the Fund.”
Ross said the Fund would be managed by a board of directors and assisted by a committee that would review all applications for assistance before furthering them to the board that would make a decision on whether the funds would be approved.
She stressed that assistance would be given regardless of an applicant’s gender.
“That’s why we say battered persons, and not battered women; men are abused just as women are abused. When we think about domestic violence, people usually think about men beating women but emotional abuse is some of the worst abuse. The difference between emotional abuse and physical abuse is that with the physical abuse you see the scars – something from a lash, a black eye. But with emotional abuse you don’t see anything, so you don’t know that person is being abused.”
Ross explained that although a lot of the money raised for the fund would be directed to the shelter for abused women that is run by the Barbados Professional Women’s Club, some of it would be reserved for addressing the developmental needs of abused individuals.