Over the past 30+ years, domestic violence services have grown beyond simply providing emergency shelter services, and with increased awareness, the effects of family violence have become better understood. President Obama points to this critical need in his 2013 Domestic Violence Awareness Month Proclamation:
Ending violence in the home is a national imperative that requires vigilance and dedication from every sector of our society. We must continue to stand alongside advocates, victim service providers, law enforcement, and our criminal justice system as they hold offenders accountable and provide care and support to survivors. But our efforts must extend beyond the criminal justice system to include housing and economic advocacy for survivors. We must work with young people to stop violence before it starts. We must also reach out to friends and loved ones who have suffered from domestic violence, and we must tell them they are not alone.
We know that a multi-pronged approach is necessary to create safety in our homes and in our communities. We also know there is a critical role for every one of us in every part of our daily lives. Advocates across the Commonwealth have been in overdrive planning community events to bring attention to their work to prevent interpersonal violence and to highlight the robust network of community-based survivor services available throughout Massachusetts. (Click for a list of DVAM community-based activities.)
Congratulations to the Association of Haitian Women: 25 Years of Empowerment and Community Development
One of the many dedicated organizations working to eradicate domestic violence and its effects is the Association of Haitian Women (AFAB) in Dorchester. In addition to traditional domestic violence advocacy services (safety, support, outreach and community education) AFAB addresses the wider needs of domestic violence survivors through a variety of programming including:
- Housing Services: affordable housing, transitional housing, and housing advocacy
- Adult Education: ESL and literacy classes, workshops, computer training, and personal finance and economic literacy classes that empower participants
- Youth Development Services: Sojourner after school program, Ayiti Demen cultural group, and Leadership Training for girls
On Saturday, October 19th, AFAB celebrated 25 years of grassroots service to the Haitian Community of greater Boston. The event featurde a keynote speech by former Prime Minister of Haiti Michelle Duvivier Pierre-Louis.
Secretary Polanowicz and the HHS team would like to congratulate AFAB on 25th years of dedicated service and demonstrated leadership in their community and in the Commonwealth.