Services for Victims of Domestic Violence Coming To MKSCHC

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Officials from The Family Resource Center are gearing up to offer their much-needed services on St. John.

Support for the island’s victims of domestic violence and sexual assault has been irregular since the closure of the Safety Zone and St. John Community Crisis Center.

The Family Resource Center on St. Thomas began as a safe house for victim’s of domestic violence more than 30 years ago. Today the organization operates a 20-bed safe house as well as a center where officials offer counselling services and host advocate training sessions.

Starting next month, The Family Resource Center will have a regular presence at Myrah Keating Smith Community Health Center.

“We’re going to have a full-time staff member at the MKSCHC who will be there from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday,” said Family Resource Center executive director Vivian St. Juste. “We’re also going to have a part-time response person who will be on call after hours and during weekends and holidays.”

St. Juste hopes to offer Family Resource Center services at MKSCHC by the end of May, but first wants to hear from the community. The executive director  is hosting a stakeholder’s meeting at the health center on Thursday, May 3, at 10 a.m. to share information about the group’s plans for St. John and hear how to best service the community.

“We want to explain to residents and community groups about what we are going to do at MKSCHC and explain the services we’re going to offer,” said St. Juste. “We want people to know what we do and that we will be a presence at MKSCHC.”

While The Family Resource Center has been providing victim’s advocate services and safe house beds to victims of domestic violence from St. John for years, clients often have trouble traveling to St. Thomas for the services, explained St. Juste.

“We’ve been here for St. John victims for a long time, but what we’ve discovered is that St. John clients don’t want to come over here,” said St. Juste. “Our clients on St. John want to have services on St. John.”

Thanks to officials from The Family Resource Center and MKSCHC, those victims will be able to get services right here on St. John by the end of May.

For more information about The Family Resource Center call 776-3966.