Listen to Carletta Figaro below and also here:
Domestic violence is a pervasive issue in Jamaica, with the country experiencing one of the highest rates of femicide worldwide. However, there is hope. One individual who has taken up the call to bring about change is a passionate advocate and domestic violence survivor who recently moved to Jamaica from Trinidad. Carletta Figaro, a Trinidadian national and a trained DV advocate survivor mentor, moved to Jamaica in March this year to represent the US-based Love Life Now Foundation in Boston, Massachusetts. She has been working tirelessly to provide domestic violence support and assistance, mentorship services, and more. Their goal is to empower survivors, raise awareness, and bring about positive change in Jamaica’s response to domestic violence.
In addition to offering mentorship services and resources, the foundation recently extended its Get Safe funding initiative that provides financial support to individuals seeking to leave abusive situations, which includes plane tickets for US, Canadian, and British nationals who come to Jamaica seeking true love but end up becoming victims of domestic violence. This was implemented after Jaeda Pauline Whitehead, a 28-year-old school board employee from Toronto, Ontario, died in Shearer’s Heights in Portland Cottage, Clarendon, after a reported domestic dispute with her husband, a fisherman from the community. She had arrived on the island two weeks prior for their wedding anniversary, which ended tragically. Later that month, a crisis call was received from a Canadian national in a similar situation. Extensive efforts were put in place to have her removed from the home, ensure that she received medical treatment and safe housing, and provide a ticket to her safety back home in Canada.
The Get Safe initiative has also been extended to offer funds to individuals from rural parishes within Jamaica seeking refuge with family members in other parishes. Furthermore, the initiative provides a Survivor Emergency Relief Fund, which provides one-time grants to survivors to help them rent an apartment and purchase groceries for themselves and their children.
In addition to these services, the advocacy foundation also provides emergency care packages that contain toiletries and personal care items for victims and their children on the run from abusive homes and situations. Safety planning and personal development planning services are also available for persons living in abusive homes who require an escape plan and aid for future growth.
Since relocating to Jamaica from Trinidad in March 2023, Carletta has been dedicated to shining a light on the pressing issue of domestic violence and advocating for change. As a full-time advocate on the island, she proudly represents the Love Life Now Foundation with her signatory Pop In Initiatives that aims to bring about change by providing comprehensive information and awareness around the issues of Domestic Violence.
The Love Life Now Foundation is appealing to persons living abroad who may be the owner of an unoccupied house in Jamaica to allow them to use the space as a shelter to accommodate women and children who require a place of refuge during trying times. They are requesting help from anyone who can pack gently used clothing in a barrel to aid women and children in transition to safety. Additionally, any assistance with our Christmas food and toiletry drive for victims would be greatly appreciated.
The Love Life Now Foundation aims to reach women and children in rural Jamaica, as access to support and mental health services in these areas is limited. There are only two known shelters on the island, based in Kingston and Montego Bay. The foundation is hoping to furnish a recently acquired seven-bedroom location in the Clarendon Parish for a new shelter with furniture, bedding supplies, and any necessary donations or sponsorships that may assist with the shelter’s operation.
If you or someone you know is facing domestic violence on the island, please know that help is available. We provide around-the-clock support and assistance. Reach out to our dedicated team through our hotline at 1- (876) 447 7987 0r 876 824 7470, website www.lovelifenow.org, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will provide the guidance and resources necessary to ensure their safety and well-being.
This is a call to women and persons worldwide to make a difference on this beautiful island by supporting these initiatives and drives. Let us help the women and children who need a haven during these trying times.
Please help the Love Life Now Foundation make a positive difference in Jamaica. Support their fight to end domestic violence in the country. Your generous contributions can go a long way in saving lives and giving hope to those in need.