Executive Director of the Women’s Resource Center Tina Laws called the turnout at last night’s candlelight vigil at Victoria Park in support of the family of the late Morissa Moniz, and all victims of domestic abuse in Bermuda, heartwarming.
With that being said, however, Ms. Laws would like to see people in the community come together and stand against all forms of domestic abuse.
“ We have to remember as a community that domestic abuse does not always involve only husbands and wives or boyfriends and girlfriends,” she said. “ Domestic abuse can involve senior citizens, parents and children, same sex relationships with the domestic violence relationships and so many others.”
According to Ms. Laws, the more people show up and show out for this cause, the more courage it may give people who are in abusive situations to speak up. Support needs to be given to all parties involved in an abusive relationship, not just the victims.
“ Batterers need support as well,” she said. “ They need to be forced to take anger management and all necessary requirements so that their behavior can be intervened [ and stopped]. There are so many things that we could and should be doing as a community.”
Ms. Laws views Ms. Moniz’s death a week ago as a teachable moment on how to prevent any situation like that from happening again in Bermuda.
“ We could have looked at the batterer’s background, how we could have prevented him from operating the way that he did, or how we could have protected [Ms. Moniz] more,” she said.
“ At the end of the day, she is no longer with us, so how can we use her death as a teachable moment? How can we prevent someone else from becoming another Morissa Moniz or another Chavelle Dillon-Burgess? That is the point that we all need to address and what we as a people need to raise more awareness about.”
People who wish to get in contact with the Women’s Resource Center can either do so by phone at 295-3882 or by email at email@example.com The Center’s domestic violence support group and several other support groups and programs will be restarted in the new year. Women’s Resource Centre provides confidential counselling, advocacy, training, awareness and education and appropriate referrals
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