Hours after rushing to the assistance of a family of five that was ejected from a rented property yesterday, Executive Director of the Family Support Network (FSN) Dr Sylvia Simmons told BVI News Online she is concerned about the number of families thrown out of homes in less than a week.
“Since last week Thursday, we’ve had to provide emergency housing for a family of three, then a family of two, and now a family of five. Two of those cases were landlord situations. In the other case, the husband decided that he is not going to do what’s right by his wife and his children, and so he decided that they need to find shelter elsewhere,” she said.
Dr Simmons said she is not aware of all details regarding the family of five, but she said further checks will be made into the matter.
She added that the police appear to also have an interest in the matter.
“We were able to accommodate the family for the night; we are going to assist further to assess exactly what happened. The matter, based on my understanding, is being investigated also by the police who have required for them to come into Family and Juvenile to find out exactly what happened, because it sounds like the matter could be a criminal matter.”
“We [at FSN] deal with domestic violence matters by the way. We helped to accommodate [the family] for last night because of the circumstances involved. If we do get some financial support for that family, that money would go towards them so they can provide some shelter for a period so they can get back on their feet,” Dr Simmons further told BVI News Online.
The matter involving the family of five first came to public attention through the BVI Community Facebook page yesterday when a resident using the name Art Henry posted: “Good night, there’s a family of five (three children 12,13,14) and a mom and dad that were put out tonight by their landlord and have no place to sleep. I do not know them personally, but I’m asking if anyone knows of any organization that would be able to assist them for at least tonight.”
FSN, along with some residents, immediately responded and helped the family.
Clueless about their rights
Dr Simmons, in the meantime, told BVI News Online that she is concerned about the number of married women being cast out of their homes apparently because they are clueless about their rights.
“A lot of women are clueless as to what their rights are. whether you are a BVIslander or not, there are some basic rights that you have, and very often people do violate them because the victim is very ignorant as to what is their right,” she added.
“The reality is that, especially in matrimonial homes, a lot of women who are the victims are the ones who are unaware that he can’t put you out. It happens quite often because a lot of women don’t know what their rights are when it comes to marital understanding,” Dr Simmons further told BVI News Online.
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