– Together We Must (TWM), a legally registered non-profit organization in Antigua and Barbuda, recently launched EMERGE, its model Domestic Violence perpetrator’s intervention program; the first of its kind in the twin-island state.
TWM’s EMERGE is a homegrown therapeutic intervention that is supported by UN Women Caribbean through the Spotlight Initiative, a global multi-year partnership between the European Union and the United Nations to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls.
EMERGE will make its rehabilitative services available to 20 men who are between the ages of 18 and 35, residents of Antigua and Barbuda, and have committed the offenses set out in the Domestic Violence Act (2015) (http://laws.gov.ag/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/a2015-27.pdf): specifically any controlling or abusive behavior that harms the health, safety or well-being of an adult or child of the adult they abused.
EMERGE supports efforts to end violence against women and girls by delivering a 1-year domestic violence intervention program that provides (1) coordinated case management services, (2) psychological screening and risk assessment, (3) therapeutic counseling, (4) a 12-week psychoeducational workgroup and (5) a peer support group.
The TWM EMERGE Case Managers will conduct an intake assessment for each applicant. After, qualified psychologists will conduct a psychological screening inclusive of a violence risk assessment.
Once an applicant is accepted into the program, Case Managers will develop a tailored service plan that assists the EMERGE Member in identifying and accessing relevant social and other services in a coordinated manner.
Participation in the TWM EMERGE psychoeducational workgroup is a required component of every EMERGE Member’s service plan. Additionally, the plan may include individual counseling with a TWM EMERGE Psychologist.
The 12-week face-to-face psychoeducational workgroup, aimed at developing participants’ critical awareness of attitudes and beliefs that support the use of violence, while increasing their awareness of the effects of domestic violence, will be delivered by TWM EMERGE Workgroup Facilitators.
TWM EMERGE members who complete the workgroup will continue to meet informally through a peer support group.
To measure EMERGE’s effectiveness in reducing incidents of domestic violence and recidivism TWM will conduct pre and post intervention testing through questionnaires and interviews and collect statistics on DV arrests.
On the 3rd of November TWM EMERGE launched to key stakeholders – Directorate of Gender Affairs, MESH, CariMan, Magistrate’s Court, Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda and Antigua and Barbuda Disability Association – most of whom have participated in ongoing discussions and have provided feedback on the program’s design since late 2021.
Government agencies, community groups, service organizations, churches, etc. are encouraged to refer persons to EMERGE.
Interested men may also apply directly. The Agency Referral and Participant Application forms are available online via this link: https://linktr.ee/togetherwemust. Physical copies of the Participant Application form are available on request.
For more information on the TWM EMERGE initiative, persons can call (268) 562-6896 or email [email protected] and visit TogetherWeMustANU on Facebook.