The Ministry of Human Services and Social Security, through the Sexual Offences and Domestic Policy Unit has welcomed over 200 persons to the Community Advocates Network (ICAN) after a series of training.

The two-day training saw over 150 persons trained from Region Four and Five across two batches at Duke Lodge, Kingston and Police Officers’ training centre as well as 58 volunteers from Region Nine.

The programme ensured participants in-dept knowledge on the roles of CAN and an introduction to Gender-Based Violence. This was presented by head of the Unit, Dr. Cona Husbands.

Supervisor of the 914 toll-free hotline, Rishma Taylor educated the volunteers on the functions of the hotline as well as the Imatter mobile application.

Allizen Welch-Critchlow, who manages the Legal Pro Bono initiative gave a detailed presentation on the project that renders legal assistance to 500 victims yearly while Kester Harding presented on the Domestic Violence Act.

On the second day, the participants received training on the services of the Childcare and Protection Agency and Counter-Trafficking in Persons Unit. The new advocates also received training on conflict resolution and the Sexual Offences Act.

Kimberly Alberts, who works within the Unit explained, “The Community Advocates Network initiative has trained numerous individuals countrywide. These advocates have signed, sworn and committed themselves to join the fight against domestic violence.”

She added, “They are now equipped with the knowledge and skills to assist the Ministry in eliminating violence from a grassroot level. They will return to their respective communities and function as the eyes and ears while acting as the voice of the vulnerable who are experiencing any type of violence. This initiative is another way of letting victims and survivors of violence who are afraid to speak up, know that there is help available to live a violence-free life.”


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