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Minister of justice Rafael Boasman meets with Safe Haven Director Cassandra Richardson & Benjamin Ortega

​On Friday the 11th of August 2017, Safe Haven Foundation Managing Director, Miss Cassandra Richardson, met with the Justice Minister Rafael Boasman and Mr. Benjamin Ortega of I-Novus to discuss the upcoming events surrounding the awareness campaign to eradicate domestic violence, an unfortunate phenomenon observed internationally. The event themed "Fatherhood, Eradicating Domestic Violence: the need to father with purpose and love" is part of a series of educational events coordinated by Safe Haven.  
 
During this meeting the parties expressed the need to promote, collaborate and eradicate Domestic Violence.  especially in our community on St. Maarten. 
The Minister gave workable solutions to the various examples that we are facing in the community with  regards to violence and in particular the crimes being committed by young men. Richardson commented that the link between domestic violence and youth criminality is not a far fetched one." She elaborated," children who grow up in dysfunctional homes where (physical and verbal) violence is experienced consistently are susceptible to using violence as children and as adults when they become older". 
 
In response and acknowledgement to social initiatives being done on the island but that are struggling to find synergy, Minister Boasman commented, "working together is great, yet ensuring that all processes and procedures are in place to successfully complete and stimulate the various initiatives are just or even more of an importance". 
 
The meeting ended with the Ministers commitment to advocate, and encourage the various departments headed by the Ministry of Justice, i.e. police, immigration, and customs departments, and prosecutors office, and his proclamation to attend this worthy and much needed lecture. 
 
Miss Richardson gave details of the process of Safe Haven's directives and challenges they face. She also shared further plans on how the Justice Ministry and in particular Police and Social agencies can work together to better the process of safeguarding the person(s) affected by domestic violence, including the most vulnerable -- the children.  
 
Mr. Ortega who recently signed an MOU for 3 years with Safe Haven explained the working relationship and the importance of getting the community involved in not only this initiative but stopping domestic violence through showing and doing better in the community.  
 
On the 23rd of August there will be a free and open-to- the-public lecture that will be held at the Port of St. Maarten from 6 PM, with various key note speakers on the subject of being a good father and eradicating domestic violence. 
 
Key note speaker for this evening will be Mr. Wendell De Leon from Trinidad.  
Mr. De Leon, who is a former police officer with the Trinidad and Tobago Police Department after leaving his police career acquired his Masters of Social work degree and has credentials as a behavioural therapist. Mr. De Leon's key interest is that of fatherhood and working with disenfranchised youth and helping families to build stronger and positive family structures. 
 
For more information about this event please contact Safe Haven management via info@safehavensxm.sx or Mr. Ortega via inovus.sxm@gmail.com
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