Co-founder and Director of Sweet Water Foundation, Dr. Hazel Da Breo believes that women of every age have to struggle to defend their rights and their bodies.
Dr. Da Breo, a trained psychotherapist, informed a stakeholders meeting of social groups last week Thursday at the Radisson Beach Resort at Grand Anse, St. George’s that college-aged young ladies who are experiencing date rape or bullying if they have a different sexual orientation have asked for a special programme.
Sweet Water Foundation, through its flagship programme “RISE” which is for adolescent girls between the ages of 12 to 18 who have experienced sexual abuse, is offering its service to victims of sexual abuse.
The programme runs for 14 weeks, and during each cycle a lawyer comes in to speak to the victims about their rights and how to handle court matters.
A doctor also makes a presentation on things that are of interest to adolescent girls such as sexual and reproductive health, and teenage pregnancy.
According to Dr. Da Breo, Sweet Water Foundation is now in the process of conducting its first session for men.
The Psychotherapist said the organisation will be partnering with the Grenada Chapter of the Caribbean HIV/AIDS Partnership (GrenCHAP).
“For the first year we are running groups in parallel with each other to cover all the different pockets of demographic that need assistance in healing from sexual abuse and learning to prevent it,” she said.
Dr. Da Breo disclosed that the Child Helpline, which is funded by the Canadian Fund for Local Initiative (CFLI) on two occasions, is the most visible project of Sweet Water Foundation.
The Child Helpline serves as a counseling service to those who are abused, or for persons who have questions relating to sexuality.
Sweet Water Foundation which is headquartered in Toronto, Canada with a sister agency in Grenada since 2008 has a mandate to end sexual violence against women and girls.
Dr. Da Breo indicated that their work is conducted from both a human rights and science-based approach.
Meanwhile, the Grenada National Organisation of Women (GNOW) is undertaking a project called protecting minds and bodies.
The project is called the Beaton, Laura, LaFemme, Bailles Bacolet Project being funded by the Canadian Fund for Local Initiative (CFLI).
Project Coordinator of GNOW, Jacqueline Lorice Pascal indicated that the project which is being undertaken in St. David’s is based on preventative measures with a three-prong approach involving children as young as three years old.
Pascal said it was discovered in 2013 that St. David’s has the highest incidents of gender-based violence.
The project is targetted at persons in the age range of three to 11, 12 to 16 and women.
Pascal stressed that the project for children looks at how they can empower themselves by differentiating what is the good touch from the bad touch.
Issues such as sex and sexuality will form the basis of a manual for the youth.
A manual called “Local women speaking up and out in a women’s circle against gender-based violence” is also being developed for the adults.
Pascall said the project began in 2012 when the women’s organisation collaborated with Soroptimist International on a project at Beaton, St. David’s.
Pascal expressed GNOW’s gratitude for the grant received from CFLI for the project.