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Bright Spot: Preventing Gender-Based Violence in Grenada

March 11 2019 - by Carole Houlihan, CLP's Gender and Diversity Specialist

Gender-based violence (GBV), especially violence against women and girls, is one of the most common forms of insecurity facing citizens in the Caribbean. A new policy brief published by CDB, Preventing Gender-Based Violence and Effectively with Multidisciplinary and Integrated Services profiles a regional Bright Spot and offers thirteen (13) recommendations for replicating a successful model. 

The Legal Aid and Counselling Clinic (LACC), part of local NGO GRENCODA, is a multi-disciplinary agency that addresses challenges facing vulnerable members of society. LACC assists clients with a wide range of legal, social and psychological issues with a particular focus on GBV.  These include:

  • Changes, a group counselling programme for women who are victims of intimate partner violence designed to break the cycle of violence for the women and their children.
  • Man to Man, a court-mandated violence intervention and group counselling programme for men, that teaches techniques to replace violence, and control abusive behavior. It emphasises respect, open communication and healthy and equal relationships, and personal responsibility.
  • Alternatives, a programme for young men in conflict with the law designed to develop a positive sense of self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and social management. This initiative aims to reduce GBV by recognizing that men who are violent towards partners are often at risk of being violent in their youth, and early intervention can be preventative.

LACC also delivers psychosocial services, including counselling, mediation and support to victims of domestic violence, child abuse, rape and other sexual offenses. These services are delivered by staff specialised in victim trauma recovery for sexual assault victims.

LACC also focuses on public education and awareness aimed at preventing GBV, as well as workshops on GBV which include topics such as rights, access to services, root causes, and safety nets. These workshops are offered to a wide cross section of citizens, targeting men, women, boys and girls. 

The thirteen (13) recommendations for replicating the successful LACC model are: 

  1. Combine legal advice with psychosocial and educational support and public education under one roof.
  2. Serve a diverse clientele for widespread impact.
  3. Choose the right institutional arrangements: Non-governmental status with diverse funding sources.
  4. Cooperate with other national agencies to provide holistic services to victims and perpetrators.
  5. Partner with international agencies to secure funding and link to global knowledge programmes.
  6. Advocate for strong legislative and policy frameworks.
  7. Detect GBV early: the need for rigorous GBV detection procedures and protocols.
  8. Take a strategic approach to engage communities in public education.
  9. Review and test methodologies to engage young men in group processes.
  10. Develop guidelines for conflicts of interests.
  11. Improve institutional performance: Standardisation, strategy and resource mobilization.
  12. Facilitate longitudinal review by maintaining a confidential long-term database. 

Do you have experience or lessons learned to share?