On average, a domestic violence survivor sustains 33 assaults before seeking help. This and other statistics were part of the latest Domestic Violence Intervention Training Programme (DVITP) held on 25-29 May 2020.
The Family Resource Centre’s (FRC) five-day interactive workshop was delivered remotely on the Zoom meetings platform. Twenty-three attendees took part including six Public Safety Communication Centre (911) personnel. Other participants included staff from Hope Academy, Kindness Awareness and Compassion Foundation, Cayman Islands First Baptist Church, Delta Air Lines, Purple Dragon School of Martial Arts, Phoenix Legal, Cayman Islands Red Cross, Health Services Authority’s Medical Department and Specialist Services, Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (RCIPS), YMCA and the Cayman Islands Crisis Centre.
The training took the form of agency presentations, group discussions and videos. FRC facilitators were supported by representatives from RCIPS, the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH), Needs Assessment Unit, Department of Community Rehabilitation, Department of Children and Family Services and the Cayman Islands Crisis Centre.
Topics covered encompassed the legal definition of domestic violence, tackling commonly held misconceptions about domestic violence, the different types of such abuse and the effects on survivors and their families. The workshop also discussed offenders and educated participants that domestic violence is about power and control, not anger.
As well as using Zoom for the first time to deliver the training, FRC used Google Shared Drives to disseminate its downloadable resource materials.
“We’ve been facilitating DVITP three times a year for the past decade,” said FRC’s Programme Coordinator Charmaine Miller.
“This is the first time it’s been delivered virtually, and we are extremely pleased with participants’ uptake and engagement over the course of the online training. Moving forward, we plan to continue offering at least one online training a year. This will allow for more participants in Grand Cayman to easily access our training, as well as those in Cayman Brac and in Little Cayman.”
“The DVITP educates front-line professionals (e.g. police officers, educators and human services professionals). It also gives participants a comprehensive overview of how several agencies provide complementary services to support survivors and perpetrators.”
DVITP Trainer Mehr Lamba said: “With COVID-19 having required the shelter in place restrictions, there is increasing concern about those who live in abusive homes, such as children. It’s worth noting that many agencies, like FRC which work in this field, have made adjustments to their services to meet the needs of their clients during this difficult time.”