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Helping hand for women

President of the Business & Professional Women’s Club of Barbados, Marrianne Burnham

The Business & Professional Women’s Club of Barbados was established to lend support to battered women and their families, and today they were given some much needed financial support to continue their work.

This morning entertainer, Michael Mikey Mercer on behalf of Team Mikey presented President of the Club, Marrianne Burnham with a cheque worth $3,700.

The funds were raised through an initiative by Team Mikey where, during the Crop-Over Festival 2012, they designed and produced Team Mikey branded tee shirts which went on sale. Two hundred and forty one of the tees shirts were sold, which totalled $3,615 and through further donations the amount was rounded to $3,700.

Burnham used the opportunity to thank Team Mikey for their decision to focus on the campaign to end violence against women. She said that violence against women was a very sensitive issue, one which a lot of people were not comfortable talking about nevertheless, Mikey was brave enough to approach the subject and use his “celebrity” and training through the UN Women’s United To End Violence programme to raise awareness on it.

Within the BPW there is a shelter programme and a crisis centre.

The crisis centre was established in 1999 and it runs a 24 hour hot line.

The hotline was used by victims of violence, those who need counselling or a hot line to report a life threatening situation. It was also used as a means to contact Police or contact the safe house, which is the shelter. The crisis centre also does public advocacy, in terms of spreading awareness about violence against women and anti-violence programmes in general. It does outreach with women, children, men against violence, support policy, promotions for policies related to violence and sexual assault and children’s protection.

She said the funds would go a long way and would be used to conduct programmes within the actual shelter.

“It is a place where women can have a short time stay to be protected from their perpetrators. We house both women and children; around 25 and 35 women and children and this is where we provide counselling, food, shelter, bus fare, school support, educational support. Actually it goes along with a lot of what Mikey will be doing now to support children with school bags and things like that.

“It is very important what these funds will be doing to support both the women and children there. Also the funds will go towards women who have to leave the shelter and are striking out on their own. It might not be safe for them to go back to the house of abuse and perhaps are now paying their own rent and send school their children on their own. So the funds will also help with that particular programme, that transitioning period where the women need a lot of support.

“We would like to thank Mikey and Team Mikey for choosing the BPW Shelter and Crisis centre projects as part of their focus to unite to end violence against are women campaign. [We] recognise not only the effort of the Team Mikey and but the efforts of his fans and supporters who have actually purchased the tee shirts to show their support of the cause,” she said. (KC)

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