U.S. Ambassador Avant Presents Award to Dr. Sandra Dean Patterson for Advancing and Protecting Women’s Rights throughout The Bahamas
By Elizabeth A. Moxey,
Apr 5, 2011 - 4:39:10 PM

Wendy Rejan, Political Officer, U.S. Embassy, U.S. Ambassador to The Bahamas Nicole A. Avant and Dr. Sandra Dean Patterson.

Nassau, Bahamas - On Friday, April 1st, U.S. Ambassador Nicole A. Avant presented Dr. Sandra Dean Patterson with an award for her years of tireless service on behalf of women affected by domestic violence and sexual assault. Selected by the U.S. Embassy as its nominee for the State Department’s International Woman of Courage Award, Dr. Patterson was presented with an honorary plaque in commemoration of her efforts in support of women’s empowerment.  The Bahamas Crisis Centre is a non-profit organization primarily pledged to respond to the needs of all victims of sexual, physical and psychological abuse.  Opened in 1982, the Crisis Centre advocates for legislative and societal protection of survivors and raises public consciousness through media and community outreach.

As part of her work, Dr. Patterson published a widely used handbook on domestic violence for the Royal Bahamas Police Force.  This past fall, the Crisis Centre was forced to move from their facilities and is currently operating without a physical structure.  Dr. Patterson has been a vocal advocate for a new facility and is determined to keep the Crisis Centre’s programs in operation. Among its current initiatives is the “Stop the Silence on Domestic Violence” campaign, an effort aimed to raise awareness about domestic violence throughout the community. Supported by the Ministry of Social Development’s Campaign on Domestic Violence, the initiative will involve informational posters and television public service announcements. The finished products are slated to for completion by the end of May.

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