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Bahamas Crisis Centre demands apology from Leslie Miller
By Bahamas Crisis Centre
Dec 10, 2015 - 11:34:27 PM

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A press conference held in the conference room of the Bahamas Crisis Centre on December 8th.

(Press Statement) The Bahamas Crisis Centre would like to address the offensive, malicious and defamatory statements made by Member of Parliament for Tall Pines Leslie Miller in a newspaper article published in the Tribune today, “Miller attacks Crisis Centre.”

It saddens us to realize just how uninformed and vindictive Mr Miller could be given that he is a national leader with the ability to influence the hearts and minds of people who so badly need our support. On behalf of the thousands of people who we help each year – for the past 33 years – we are compelled to respond to his hurtful and vicious attack because if it results in just one person deciding not to call our 24 hour hotline; one person not to walk through our doors to speak to a counselor during our free clinics; one person to feel they have nowhere to turn, it would have been one too many.

First of all we would like to say to the Bahamian people, particularly the vulnerable communities that are victims of violence and other forms of a trauma that our doors remain open to everyone who needs this safe space to process and heal from life’s stresses. That is what we do and that is what we will continue to do. Our 24 hour hotline is 328-0922. And our offices are open daily from 9.30am to 5.30pm. On Tuesday and Wednesday we have a clinic where you can access free counseling from 4pm to 8pm.

Every single day we respond to calls and walk-ins from women, men, boys and girls who are victims of sexual, physical and emotional violence; who are experiencing life stresses; who have behavioural issues; who are trying to cope with the stresses of relationships; people who are looking for a safe space to be vulnerable with trained professionals who can provide a listening ear with no judgment to work through their stuff. We provide food assistance and clothing to our clients and we support them in finding emergency shelter.

A press conference held in the conference room of the Bahamas Crisis Centre on December 8th.

The Bahamas Crisis has an extensive community outreach programme. We do workshops on all forms of violence and advocacy with NGOs, churches and pastors, the Ministry of Social Services, the Royal Bahamas Police Force. In September we hosted 40 pastors in a workshop on domestic violence awareness and prevention. In October we had a workshop for NGOS with the Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Organsiation addressing how best to respond to the needs of vulnerable populations in the Bahamas. We work hand in hand with the Ministry of Social Services with their hotline, with their client interventions. We have a bullying programme and a healthy relationships programme in public and private schools. After 4 pm the Bahamas Crisis Centre is the only free counseling centre in The Bahamas. Every Tuesday and Wednesday evening, volunteer counselors see clients in need of assistance until 8pm at night.

Every year we see at least 600 clients. In our 33 year history that means we have touched the lives of over 20,000 people: women who are victims of rape; children who are victims of incest; men who are victims of domestic violence and sexual violence; women who have been trafficked; women who have been discriminated against, all vulnerable groups of our society

Let me emphasize that the Crisis Centre is a non-profit, ideologically independent organization made up of volunteers. Needless to say, the women, men, girls and boys who receive our support do not need us to profile to demonstrate the value of our contribution. They feel it every single day they interact with our volunteers.

Mr Miller’s appalling comments reflect his total lack of respect for what we do here serving voluntarily the Bahamian community for over 33 years. We demand an apology and a retraction of his statement. We also invite Mr Miller to participate in our volunteer training in January so he can become more informed.

We remind the Bahamian people, particularly vulnerable groups that our doors remain open and we are here to serve.

About Bahamas Crisis Centre:  The Crisis Centre is a non-profit, ideologically independent organization primarily pledged to respond to the needs of all victims of sexual, physical and psychological abuse. The Centre also advocates for legislative and societal protection of survivors and raises public consciousness through education and information.

Minister Griffin responds to Tribune article about Crisis Centre

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