Dozens of battered women and children coming out of homes where domestic abuse is present have sought refuge in the Belize Haven House. It is a sanctuary aimed at keeping the women and children safe and one that requires funding to keep functional. This past Saturday saw a fun-run take place as part of a fundraising drive for the shelter. It is the first time the organization is having such an endeavour as explained by the Vice President of the Board, Alyssa Carnegie.
“It’s a 5K run and walk it’s not a race and so what we did today was start off at BTL park, made our way along Princess Margaret Drive, we turned around the median by Valuemed and came right back to BTL park and along the way we had numerous color stations, we got covered in colored powder specifically orange and purple because those are for women and also the 16 days of activism. It’s not that time yet but it’s always a good time to celebrate women so that is what we did, we had hydration stations along the way courtesy Crystal and I think all in all it was a really great event. We look forward to kind of sitting down and looking at what went right and look at what we could do better and hopefully we can turn this into an annual event. The shelter does provide a lot of services and it really operates on a referral basis so not anyone can walk into it. So it’s really for people who have sought to get help and really need a haven or an escape from a very abuse scenario and women and their children. Of course you know sometimes when they leave, they leave with nothing and so we really have to be in a position to provide a lot of services for a variety of scenarios so we are really trying to fund raise, trying to get some very much needed equipment and supplies for the shelter so hopefully we made our target, we had a target of $5,000 I want to say we made but we’ll see.”
Carnegie told Love News that Haven House has been collaborating with other agencies for years in protecting women and children.
“We work with the Women’s Department and the Domestic Violence Unit, we get referrals through them and so each case is offered a case manager and then referred to us and we work with them individually. For Haven House we’ve had I think about 1,300 people access the shelter but I have to say out of that most of them have been kids and we’ve had kids from as young as three days old with their moms trying to seek a haven if that can give you any indication of what a person like that goes through. We’ve had people all the way up to 16 years old so there is no one who is unaffected by this and I think that is the point that we are trying to highlight today that its all of us, women affect the fabric of society, they are the fabric all of us, they are our mothers, sisters, daughters, cousins, aunts, friends and I think that is really among anything I think we are happy to be able to celebrate and add just another event that does that throughout the year.”
The mission of the Haven House is to provide shelter and intervention services to survivors of domestic violence in collaboration with other related agencies.