Woman’s Inc. – Kingston

WOMAN INC

7 Denehurst Avenue–Kingston, 10
Tel: 929-9038-        Fax: 926-3091
E mail:   w.i.crisiscentre@cwjamaica.com

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WOMAN INC. is a voluntary, non-profit, non-governmental organisation [NGO], founded in 1984. It draws upon the creative energies of women from all walks of life that are dedicated to providing assistance to victims of rape, incest, domestic crisis, sexual harassment at the workplace. and domestic violence. The organisation operates through various sub-committees: Facilities, Fundraising, Legal Reform, Public Relations and Public Education. There is an Executive Committee, which is elected each year at an Annual General Meeting. This committee establishes and monitors all policies governing organisational activities.

The organisational services consist of The Crisis Centre; a Crisis Shelter; a 24-hour Hotline; a Public Education Programme aimed at Primary and Secondary Schools, community groups, church groups, and the general public; a Legal Reform Committee that lobbies for Legislative change and a Resource Room. In addition, the Organisation provides, through its Public Education Programme, sensitisation training for members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force.

The main office address is 7 Denehurst Avenue, Kingston 10.  Contact numbers are:

(876) 929-9038,              Fax: 926-3091,…… e-mail: w.i.crisiscentre@cwjamaica.com

Woman Inc Mission Statement

“WOMAN INC

is committed to

strengthening the position of

Jamaican women through providing

support services, public education,

and by lobbying for legislative changes”.

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The mission of Woman Inc. is carried out in two major ways:

  • Through counselling and assistance to abused women

  • Through public education – which in the long run will reduce incidents of abuse to women and gender based violence against women.

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Aims & Objectives

To deal with problems relating to rape, incest and domestic violence.

To develop self awareness, self healing, coping and survival skills in women.

To build the self esteem and independence of women.

To maintain a Crisis Centre and Crisis Shelter

To raise the funds necessary to maintain the Crisis Centre and the Crisis Shelter, via the Annual Trade Fair and by any other means possible.

To make women aware of their hidden potential through the annual fund-raising Trade Fair and Exhibition, which also provides a variety of functional learning experiences.

To encourage the media to portray a realistic and positive image of the Jamaican woman.

To provide, through public education, awareness of existing problems of women in Jamaica and to raise the consciousness of men and the public at large, regarding attitudes, feelings and situations that contribute to aggressive behaviour.

To collaborate with existing social services  in cases where they can provide assistance.

To encourage police sensitivity  in dealing with victims of rape, incest and domestic violence.

To generate interest for change and improvement in the areas of education, health, and legal services.

To utilise the information gained through the operation of the Centre to encourage legislative change and policy reforms on problems affecting women.

CRISIS CENTRE

The Crisis Centre has been in existence since February 1985.  It provides professional and specialised advice and outreach support to women, (and men), that have, or are experiencing matters concerning rape, incest, domestic violence and domestic crisis.

The Centre seeks to assist women in working toward self-empowerment and to gain the necessary insights to handle their particular crisis.  As women are empowered, they become more self-assured and this contributes to positive self-esteem and independence.

The Crisis Centre in Kingston offers walk-in counselling services from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and telephone counselling 24 hours per day every day of the year. The Crisis Centre in Montego Bay (1991) is generally open 9-a.m-5 p.m. Mon. -Fri. Unfortunately the Montego Bay location does not have a 24-hour hotline or a shelter.

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THE HOTLINE

The Crisis Centre provides a twenty-four (24) hotline service, which has been in operation since 1985. Walk-in counselling service is provided from Monday to Friday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Outside of these hours, a hot line service is provided where counselling is available on the

telephone. The Hot Line Counselling Service is an ongoing and very important aspect of the overall counselling services. This hotline operates solely with volunteers who give of their time to further the work of Woman Inc. All hotline volunteers are provided with in-house training prior to serving. They are also required to undergo an annual recurrent training session in order to maintain their active duty status. A Hotline Manual is provided to all active volunteers.

All one in need has to do is to call the hot line number 929-2997 or if in the Montego Bay area call:952-9533-34.

CRISIS SHELTER

The Crisis Shelter functions as an emergency temporary residence for women in crisis.  The location is kept confidential to protect the safety of the women. The cases are usually abused women, incest, rape, or temporary homelessness due to domestic violence. In many cases small children and babies are involved. The victims are generally seen at the Crisis Centre, the cases assessed and then sent to the Shelter.  When the incident occurs during the night, the Volunteer on the Hotline, with the agreement of the ‘Back-up’ counsellor, may refer the victims to the Police who will escort the person to the Shelter, providing there is space. A housemother attends to the smooth running and supervision of the Shelter that was opened in 1987 and continues to be the only one of its kind in Jamaica.

PUBLIC EDUCATION

The organisation initiated its public education programme in 1989, aiming to raise the consciousness of the nation regarding the high incidence and impact of rape, incest, domestic violence and other forms of abuse to women in the society.  Along with carrying this message, the committee delineates the variety of circumstances in which abuse occurs, explores the emotional and physical damage it inflicts, and presents measures to prevent the behaviour and to heal the damage.

Since 1989, the Committee has reached a large cross-section of the society through workshops in schools, churches and community groups, as well as through media presentations.

Recent major projects include:

[1]- “Woman Inc Gender Sensitizaton workshops”- designed for groups to mitigate the effects of gender based violence and the sensitize communities Delivered– 2009-2010.{CIDA D&G- Canadian International Development Agency/Democracy & Governance Project 2009/10

[2]-RENEWAL Phase II - Established Support Groups for survivors of early childhood Sexual abuse, and Domestic Violence, held Public Forums on emerging trends such as “Women and HIV/AIDS  as well as “Trafficking in Persons” {Human Trafficking}. 2007/08 {CIDA-Gender Equality}

[3]- “Exposing the Link- sponsored by Margaret Sanger International of New York City – designed to highlight the links between gender based violence and HIV-AIDS.  2007


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[Public Education continued]

[4]- “Woman Inc In Action with the Community”- a yearlong campaign to mitigate the effects of gender based violence and the sensitize communities and church groups. Delivered and enhanced outreach counselling service.(funded by CIDA-CCGEP) Canadian International Development Agency/Caribbean CARICOM Gender Equality Program – 2006/07.

[5] Under the Portmore New Testament Church of God Gender Equality project – the Woman Inc team participated in Male And Female-       “He Created Them Equal”.. with the conduct of workshops and seminars.       The first such project conducted by a major church., and funded by CIDA

[6] Male Attitudes : titled “MEN Let’s Talk”  -(pilot sponsored by UNIIFEM)

a series of workshops designed to focus on attitudes and values that give rise to violent behaviour particularly to, (predominantly male), violence against women and based on the findings of a questionnaire designed to measure  those attitudes. Concepts of gender equality are explored. This programme has been adopted as an ongoing series, as funding permits

[7] “Domestic Violence Intervention” for Police Officers and other Front-Line workers:The Domestic Violence Intervention Project highlights the problems which survivors of gender-based violence experience, when they seek Police Intervention, and applies developed strategies with the aim of engendering greater sensitivity to victims and ultimately, eliminating violence against women.

[8]-I Believe I Can Fly” theme; -an intensive programme, a schools campaign initiated during 2003 aimed at raising self-esteem, self-respect and facilitating positive gender relations at the primary through Grade 7 level students. This programme was slated for implementation at the Children’s Homes as well however has been extremely limited due to inadequate resources..

Once it is strengthened, there will be continued utilisation of the media through radio messages, and the use of posters and flyers

The Public Education Committee is continuing its efforts in working with community and school groups.  Any group wishing the use of this service are asked to contact Woman Inc at 7 Denehurst Avenue, Kingston 10, telephone 929-9038.

The Public Education Committee, dedicated to the idea that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure is proud of its accomplishments, and highly motivated to do even more.

LEGAL REFORM

This committee is mandated to:

  • Lobby and advocate for legislative change as it affects women in the society

Educate women through workshops and seminars on the laws affecting women and their rights

  • Provide legal aid services to the women who visit the Crisis Centre

Submissions and ongoing participation to the joint select parliamentary committees has been essential to the recent enactment of legislation; “The Sexual offenses Act”-2009 and prior to that Woman Inc is on record for contribution to the:

Matrimonial Causes Act

Family {spousal rights} Property Act

The Domestic Violence Act {1995} and the subsequent amendments {2004}

as well as legislation relating to the Age of Consent,. and the recent Sexual Offenses Act.

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RESOURCE ROOM

A Resource/Reading Room is made available at the Crisis Centre for the use of Secondary/Tertiary level students, Practitioners, Academics, Researchers, Staff, Members and the general public. The Resource Room will have:

  • Books/Magazines/Articles/Videos and other reference materials pertaining to issues affecting women- predominately violence against women. but also health and wellbeing.
  • An Internet service with identified relevant links is an integral part of the future plan.

FUNDING AND FUNDRAISING

2009 marked the 25th anniversary year for Woman Inc, however financial constraints threaten the sustainability like never before. Capacity to fulfill many of the detailed duties is a major challenge, which prior to 2000 were conducted by the volunteers; mainly members of the governing body who themselves now have full-time employment

Although the organization conducts many fund-raising activities to provide support for the maintenance of the Crisis Center and Shelter, the most popular of which has been the Annual Trade Fair, the proceeds during recent years from these events have simply not generated enough income.’

Direct funding from the private sector; has assisted the organization in the efforts to keep abreast of rising operational costs and proven that “alliances” and support from the corporate sector can effectively address this vital area, for in the long run it is the women who are assisted through our services that are all too often employees within this sector.

This is given to the rise in operating costs, the harsh economic climate, as well as to the demands and established expectations on the part of the public for the various services and advocacy efforts.

In addition to Woman Inc fundraising efforts, the organization receives assistance towards the annual budget from an annual Government subvention that equates to 1/5 of the budget, thus donations from the private and public sectors are sought.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS  AND  PATRONS

FOUNDING CHAPTER                 1984- Celebrating 25 Years       -2009

2009-2010 Executive Committee:

President, Valerie Moodie; -Vice-President {Facilities}, Joni Gaye Cawley;Treasurer, Deborah Garbutt;       Secretary, Joyce Hewett;          Assistant Treasurer; Veenal Vaswani

Patron, Gloria Palomino                      Co-Patron, The most Honourable Lady Hall

TRUST FUND -In continuing its tradition of supporting Woman Inc. and similar outreach projects, the Gleaner newpaper, in celebration of the 21st Anniversary of its Flair Magazine  “adopted” Woman Inc. for the period October 2005 -September 2006 . In fulfillment of that the Gleaner committed to providing the following:

  • 1 page monthly in the Flair Magazine used editorially to highlight the activities of Woman Inc.
  • A $100,000 donation establishing a Fund/Foundation to support the future activities of Woman Inc.

ACTIVITIES AND PROGRAMMES

  • The Crisis Center was launched in 1985 with the funds raised at the first Trade Fair and Exhibition – WOMAN ‘84. The opening of the shelter followed 2 years later

Contact Details:

Address:

7 Denehurst Avenue- Kingston 10

Jamaica

Telephone: 1-876-929-9038

Fax: 1-876-926-3091