Program to Raise Awareness about Gender Based Violence in Bahamas

U.S. Government Funds Conferences, Grants to Combat Violence Against Women

Freeport, Grand Bahama (November 29, 2016) — With funding from the U.S. Government, the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) is launching a women’s initiative for non-violence in the Bahamas.                          

Gender based violence “constitutes a major public health issue” in the Bahamas, according to a 2015 report published by the Bahamas Ministry of Social Services and Community Development. Three Caribbean countries have among the highest recorded incidents of rape in the world: The Bahamas, followed by St. Vincent & The Grenadines and Jamaica, the report states.

The Women’s Initiative for Non-Violence and Development (WIND) seeks to improve the capacity of law enforcement, the justice sector and communities to respond to and prevent gender based violence in the Bahamas. The initiative aims to raise awareness and share information and best practices among agencies in order to better address this issue.

PADF will host four conferences around the United Nations’ International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (IDEVAW), observed on November 25.

The first WIND conference will be held in Freeport, Grand Bahama on November 29, followed by a conference in Nassau, New Providence, on December 1. Additional events will be held in Marsh Harbour, Abaco (Dec 2); and Knowles, Cat Island (Dec 2). 

“The key to combatting gender-based violence is to bring it out into the open,” says Liza Mantilla, Director of Disaster Management of PADF. “The first step is awareness. In order to tackle the problem head-on, we need to talk about it. Together, we can find ways that communities can work together to react appropriately when it occurs, but also to prevent it from happening.”

This year’s United Nations observance highlights the need for funding for initiatives that prevent and end gender-based violence. According to the UN’s UNiTE campaign, adequate funding is essential to bring “real and significant changes in the lives of women and girls.”

With support from the U.S. Government, WIND will also provide financial support through grants to nonprofits in the Bahamas to strengthen their programing

“Violence against women is a global problem,” says a U.S. EMBASSY Spokesperson. “Our hope is that through WIND events, stakeholders will receive the tools needed to take the message of prevention back to their own communities. We are also committed to supporting nonprofits in the Bahamas that are already carrying out the important work of violence prevention and to provide them with the information needed to succeed and grow.”

All events are free. Registration required. To participate, e-mail wind@padf.org. 

Women’s Initiative for Non-Violence and Development (WIND) Conference Schedule: 

Freeport, Grand Bahama
Tuesday, November 29, 2016
9:00 am - 3:00 pm Registration starts at 8:30 am
Cornelius A. Smith
Complex
Mall Drive

Nassau, New Providence
Thursday, December 1, 2016
9:00 am - 3:00 pm Registration starts at 8:30 am
Grace Community Church Herbert L. Treco
Fellowship & Hospitality Centre
21 Grace Avenue, Palmetto Village
(Off Marathon Road)

Marsh Harbour, Abaco
Friday, December 2, 2016
9:00 am - 3:00 pm Registration starts at 8:30 am
Burial Society
Dundas Town 

Knowles, Cat Island
Friday, December 2, 2016
9:00 am - 3:00 pm Registration starts at 8:30 am
Media Center
Knowles Village