Low-cost housing, training for domestic violence victims

-to foster independence, safety

Help & Shelter in collaboration with the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security will be rolling out a care plan to enable victims of domestic violence to apply for low-cost housing to transition from abusive situations to a safe and independent environment.

Coordinator of Help & Shelter, Mr. Collin Marks, in an interview with the Department of Public Information (DPI) said restoring self-worth to victims of domestic violence is critical.

“The care plan would include building capacity and training so that the person who comes in is fully rehabilitated when they are about to exit; persons who are rehabilitated will be given the privilege to apply for affordable housing, in order for them to be re-integrated to their families and communities. This also means independence from the perpetrator,” Mr. Marks disclosed.

He said the care plan is presently under revision.

“The care plan starts with the intake of the person coming at the Help and Shelter and right away the plan would kick in, meaning if victims are with children, the plan would help them point out what needs to be repaired after being battered by domestic violence. Its also help them project where they want to go when it comes to self-growth.”

According to Mr. Marks, most times, the abused return to the environment with their abusers if there is no care plan in place. However, he said, the initiative is fully supported by the newly-appointed Human Services Minister, the Hon. Dr. Vindhya Persaud.

“There will also be extensive collaboration with the Ministry of Education to ensure children who are in our care receive an education. This will surely see an increase of staff, specifically educators at Help and Shelter,” Mr. Marks explained.

Help & Shelter was registered as a not-for-profit company in November 1994 and formally launched on 26 November 1995 to respond to the high incidence of violence, alcoholism and poverty in Guyana. The organisation also offers counselling and crisis services to victims wishing to leave abusive situations.