Domestic violence still too high
The number of adolescent girls in Barbados who are falling victims to domestic violence is too high and is of concern to at least one of the island’s organizations offering assistance.
Chairperson of the SAVE Foundation, Liesel Daisley, said that last year the organization received roughly between 1 825 to 2 555 calls on its hotline reporting incidents of domestic violence.
Some calls, she said, were from victims and others were from their family members or friends.
Daisley said while it was difficult to provide empirical data of how many of those callers were teenagers, some of the victims of abuse were as young as 14 years.
“More and more young women are falling victim to domestic violence,” she said.
Once they call the hotline and it is established they are a victim of abuse, they are referred to counselling. It is likely some of them may call again at a later date.
The advocate against domestic violence expressed her concern to members of the media yesterday after receiving a donation from the RBC Royal Bank (Barbados) Limited at its Lower Broad Street branch.
“We have an overall number of calls but not necessarily in terms of age group. I would say approximately on a daily basis [we get] between five to seven calls a day,” said Daisley, adding that those figures were too high.
She said despite being warned and counselled, a number of the victims were choosing to remain in abusive relationships.
“It is, one, because of low self-esteem. From counselling them it seems they are looking for love and attention and that is because a lot of them grew up in households without a father or if the father was there he wasn’t there emotionally,” added Daisley.
Another reason, she said, was that a lot of the young women were pre-exposed to violence in their respective homes and wanted to mimic the type of relationships their mother had in depending on a man for financial support.
The last survey done in Barbados in 2009 showed that approximately 30 per cent of Barbadian households were affected by domestic violence. According to global statistics, at least one in every three women around the world experience domestic violence while up to ten million children witnessed it annually.
Today is being celebrated as International Women’s Day. (MM)