Barbara Daniel-Goddard is the Co-Director of the School of Holistic Therapies and the Director of Advocates Against Domestic Abuse (AADA).
Positive Vibes sat down with Daniel-Goddard to discuss her school which specializes in holistic therapies and the creation of AADA, a charity which deals with domestic violence and is seeking to create a halfway house for victims and survivors.
Q: What is your mantra for life?
A: My mantra for life is to do unto others as you would like them to do unto you. Be responsible for the decisions you make, whether good or bad.
Q: What does Barbara do for fun?
A: My idea of fun is anything I feel like; it depends on my mood at the time.
Q: You are also the Co-Director of the School of Holistic Therapies. In a previous conversation, you said the school would be established in other Caribbean countries by September. How close to completion are you?
A: The implementation of our school in other islands is moving ahead and we are expecting to be in Anguilla and Trinidad and Tobago by October 2019 and looking into taking the school to other islands.
Q: How important is it for people to understand the importance of their holistic health?
A: Holistic health is very important. We have become so used to only thinking about our physical health that we neglect the emotional and psychological aspects of health and we tend to only look at these when a person has, for example, a mental or nervous breakdown. Nothing can beat having great health.
Q: Most Barbadians would know you from your work with SAVE Foundation. You have embarked on a new journey with Advocates Against Domestic Abuse. What led to this creation?
A: The creation of Advocates Against Domestic Abuse (AADA) came about because of the extended direction we wanted to go in with domestic abuse. In order to do so, we needed to change the constitution and by-laws so it became easier to start from scratch. A major focus for us is to have a halfway house that is a one-stop-shop as it will meet the needs across all areas of our clientele and deliver more community-based training centered around leaders of the community.
Q: What was the catalyst which made you want to fight for domestic violence to end in Barbados?
A: There was no particular catalyst… For me, it was a simple continuation of what I was doing while living in the United Kingdom.
Q: What is one thing you would like to see changed in Barbados as the country handles sexual harassment and domestic violence?
A: One thing I would like to see is that we implement a system whereby we have a number of independent persons located at each police station to deal directly with the victims after the police have taken their statement. That person can become the direct support for the victim helping them through the legal process and the medical and emotional fallout.
Q: Do you think our policies on domestic violence and sexual harassment need to be changed? If yes, why?
A: I would like that it is mandatory for the police to bring cases against the abuser regardless of whether the victim wants to do so as currently, this is not done often enough. I would also like to see that the accused is automatically and immediately removed from the home as a case is reported. That way, it stops the potential for further harm. This would be a cooling-off period. I would also like that we have a strong victim support unit at each court to aid and guide those persons attending court.
Q: As the 16 days of activism approaches, what message would you have for young women and girls?
A: My message to young women and girls is to become involved and develop an awareness of domestic abuse and how it can impact your life if you are not prepared. I would like that they get a better education about relationships and how they can impact your life if you are not prepared. I would like that they get a better education about relationships and how easy it is to become a victim as knowledge is power.
Q: Anything else you would like to mention?
A: Yes, be grateful for what you have and stop comparing yourself to others. There will always be someone greater or lesser than you. (LG)