October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Annually, the Women’s Coalition of St. Croix hosts a number of events to raise awareness around this crime that affects families and communities at large.
For Domestic Violence Awareness Month 2021, WCSC has partnered with the Virgin Islands Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Council, Legal Services of the Virgin Islands, and the PFLAG Interest Group, to host the first forum focused on domestic violence and how it can affect people who identify with groups that have been marginalized historically.
The forum will include a panel discussion and a question-and-answer segment for audience participation. Panelists will represent a variety of public service organizations, including Disability Rights of the Virgin Islands and the Virgin Islands Department of Health.
The “DV in Special Populations Virtual Forum” will be held via Zoom, from 3-5 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 27. Special populations to be discussed include people with disabilities, seniors, people who self-identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning, intersex, asexual and others (LGBTQIA+), immigrants and people who do not speak English.
“Tactics used to isolate or otherwise cause harm can target a survivor’s age, mental capacity, sexual orientation, a disability or their gender identity,” said Clema S. Lewis, WCSC’s executive director and moderator for the event. Programs and services available to all victims and survivors in the U.S. Virgin Islands will also be discussed, including legal services. Social workers, caseworkers, caregivers, first responders, victim advocates and others from agencies that offer direct services to victims and survivors of domestic violence are invited to attend the forum, in addition to the general public.
“It’s important that victims and survivors — whoever they are in their experience, and those who assist them, participate in this important conversation,” said Pamela Sanes, originator of the forum idea and planning committee member.
Zoom invitations will be emailed, and information will be available on social channels and websites of WCSC, VIDVSAC, LSVI and other outlets.
Contact the Women’s Coalition of St. Croix at 773-9272 or visit www.wcstx.org for more information on the “DV in Special Populations Virtual Forum” and the organization’s DVAM activities calendar. WCSC’s other upcoming Domestic Violence Awareness Month events include Virtual “Take Back the Night” on Oct. 21 and the “Drive Out DV” Motorcade on Oct. 30.
The Women’s Coalition of St. Croix’s mission is to support and empower people impacted by violence. Legal Services of the Virgin Islands’ mission is to access justice, protect rights and educate people in poverty in order to empower them to move toward self-sufficiency. PFLAG is the first and largest organization for LGBTQ+ people, their parents and families, and allies. The Virgin Islands Domestic and Sexual Assault Council’s mission is to coordinate resources for educating, creating awareness, preventing and responding to reduce the occurrence of sexual assault, domestic violence and stalking cases.
Call WCSC’s main office/crisis center – 773-9272 or visit www.wcstx.org for information on free and confidential services for victims and survivors of violence and families in need.