Alarmed by the increasing number of cases of abuse against women and children living in the country, The Bahamas’ chapters of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and its Southern Regional Representative, Kyrsten Sheffield donated gently used clothing and shoes, food, and feminine hygiene products to the Bahamas Crisis Center and the Evangeline Jervis Community Service Center. According to organizers, this partnership across Bahamian waters is a commitment to eradicate violence against women around the globe.
“We, as an organization, encourage all chapters of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated to expand collaborative partnerships with community-based organizations working to eradicate domestic violence through advocacy efforts which have been demonstrated through the work of The Bahamas Crisis Centre that provides services to victims of physical, sexual and emotional abuse,” Sheffield said.
On the earmarked, Southern Region Day of Service, about 7 bags of clothing and 5 boxes of toiletries and food were donated to The Bahamas Crisis Centre in New Providence and the Evangeline Jervis Community Service Center in Grand Bahama.
The Sorority also donated $2,710 to the Center’s efforts to build a soup kitchen and hurricane shelter. Grand Bahama has seen a rise in people seeking assistance due to the pandemic. According to Carleta Carolina, Assistant Director of the Evangeline Jervis Community Service, some households have one or no employed adults. Families seeking assistance likely include the elderly, sick, or those with limited abilities.
Cleopatra Christie, an administrator at the Bahamas Crisis Centre, said the pandemic has been an “uphill battle” for families, especially unemployed single mothers, who must pay utilities & for food for their children.
“We have determined that we must do all that we can to assist these families therefore, your donation of food and clothing will go a long way,” she said. “(They) are so appreciative when they receive the bag of goodies that we put together for them. It lifts the burden until the next time.”
An international non-profit organization, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc is committed to the expansion of support for victims of domestic violence. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence domestic violence is, “the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another. It includes physical violence, sexual violence, threats, and emotional or psychological abuse.”
Sheffield said, “A key component of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority’s mission is to address issues that impact the communities we serve. Domestic violence obliterates the wellbeing of women, which, in turn, leads to the destruction of the family unit, which affects the mental, emotional, and physical functioning of women, men, and children.”