Help available: Victim Support Division sensitises students

Parents and students of The Queen’s High School in St. Andrew were sensitised about the support services offered by the Victim Services Division (VSD) for persons impacted by crime and violence, including domestic abuse.

Representatives of the Division, which is located within the Ministry of Justice, participated in a wellness fair held on the school grounds from January 30 to 31, where they provided information about various initiatives to respond to the needs of vulnerable persons.

These include free emotional support, counselling, mediation, crisis intervention and court support.

Clinical Psychologist at the VSD, Sheron Betancourt, shared that the Division “strives to provide healing and justice for all victims of crime, primarily through its counselling component as well as networking programmes.”

She said the VSD is delighted to partner on social engagements, where victims can be informed about the various services provided.

She noted that there are specially designed programmes for educational institutions under the ‘Special Intervention Project in Schools’.

“…a lot of young females who do not know that help is available if you’re a victim of domestic abuse or other crimes.”

VSD Counsellor, Simone Sharrier, said that attendees were curious about the support available for victims of domestic violence.

*Sasha-Gaye Campbell, a sixth-form student who visited the VSD booth, commended the unit for providing information on how victims can heal and reintegrate.

“It was nice having the VSD at our fair because you have a lot of young females who do not know that help is available if you’re a victim of domestic abuse or other crimes,” she said.

She contended that if more victims knew about the services of the VSD, then they would reach out and get the help they need to rise above their circumstances. 

*Name changed to protect minor