The number of women seeking an escape route from violent relationships is on the increase.
SAVE Foundation, which seeks to end domestic violence, has reported a rise in calls to the centre.
Founder and Chairman Liesel Daisley told Barbados TODAY abused women were feeling more comfortable with coming forward.
“More and more every year we see more people coming forward for help because we have been doing so much protesting and sensitizing people about the dangers [of domestic violence]. People are feeling less hesitant and embarrassed about coming forward, so I would have to say yes, we have seen a steady increase in the number of calls and in the number of people that are requesting help and support,” Daisley explained.
She said counsellors operating the hotline received more than 1,500 calls last year, a slight increase over the previous year.
The anti-violence campaigner called on Barbadian men to be respectful of women , stressing that beatings were unacceptable.
Daisley also appealed to both men and women to be involved in the campaign against violence.
“I would like see men in Barbados respect women more. I would like to see them treat them as though they are precious, as though they are loved, and treat them with the same level of respect that they would treat their mothers.
“I would like to see more people getting involved [in campaigns against violence]; not only businesses donating funds, but in terms of people who have skills, if they can offer some special skills, whether it is counselling, whether they want to get involved in terms of outreach, whatever skill you have, in the SAVE Foundation, we can use it.
“We would like to see more people taking on this cause, because violence seems to be a big part of society right now; all forms of violence, not just domestic violence,” contended the activist.
Daisley said SAVE Foundation would reach out to the seven children whose mother, Cally-Ann Gill of Crab Hill, St Lucy, was a victim of the latest domestic killing. Gill was stabbed to death two days before Christmas while at Niles Road, Farm Road, St Peter and her boyfriend Aliston Greaves has been charged with her death.
“Based on the latest murder that we had before Christmas which was very sad and very heartbreaking, especially for the seven children that were left behind, we also want to collect some donations for these children in the form of toiletries,
food stuff and school supplies. It is very important.
“These kids now have no mother and no father, basically, because their father will be incarcerated. So I think that Bajans need to rally around them and support them and let them know that we love them and that we care,” Daisley declared.