The Directorate of Gender Affairs is the national agency mandated with responding to and addressing gender based violence locally.
The Directorate notes the assessment and recommendations coming out of the latest Universal Periodic Review (UPR), specifically as it relates to a perceived underreporting of gender based violence in Antigua and Barbuda.
The Directorate of Gender Affairs continues to be proactive in relation to raising awareness on gender based violence in all its different forms through the operation of the Support and Referral One Stop Centre for survivors, as well as through the 24 hour hotline that provides access to support and help for persons experiencing gender based violence.
The RPFAB Special Victims Support Unit is also strategically located within the Gender Affairs Headquarters and deals specifically with gender based violence crimes.
The Directorate has also been engaging men and boys on the issue of gender based violence through the hosting of panel discussions, training sessions and presentations being made to community groups, in an effort to preemptively begin to identify and address harmful behaviors that could lead to gender based violence.
Additionally, plans are also in place to have a week of activities focused on healthy relationships, which will address gender based violence that women and men face, and seek to come up with feasible solutions that the Directorate can undertake to increase reporting and reduce the frequency in which violence occurs within relationships.
The Directorate also is currently engaged with a number of corporate partners and international development partners to receive support in establishing a national shelter for survivors of gender based violence and in the interim, provides emergency short term accommodation for persons who are facing abuse or violence.
The Directorate will continue its efforts to systematically address gender based violence in Antigua and Barbuda and encourages anyone facing this form of violence to call the national hotline at 463-5555 or to access services at the Support and Referral Centre located on Nevis Street and Friendly Alley.
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