The Bahamas Crisis Centre

Commonwealth Point of Light 120. Sandra Dean-Patterson

Dr Sandra Dean-Patterson, representing The Bahamas, founded ‘The Bahamas Crisis Centre’ in 1982, the first organisation in the Caribbean providing support services to women survivors of physical, sexual and emotional abuse.

Sandra Dean-Patterson and Sarah Dickson

Today the centre addresses all forms of domestic and sexual violence, providing legal advice and counselling to women, men, and children. Under her leadership, ‘The Bahamas Crisis Centre’ has led to a dramatic increase in awareness of gender-based violence, with Sandra successfully advocating for legislation in The Bahamas to address domestic and sexual violence. This award coincides with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

The award for Dr Dean-Patterson was presented by British High Commissioner in The Bahamas, Sarah Dickson (pictured above, and below).

Dr Sandra Dean-Patterson receiving her award from UK High Commissioner in the Bahamas Sarah Dickson

Sarah Dickson, UK High Commissioner in The Bahamas, said:

“The work of Dr Sandra Dean-Patterson and the Crisis Centre in supporting Bahamian families suffering from domestic abuse is inspirational. It is fitting that on this, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, Her Majesty The Queen has given a Commonwealth Points of Light Award to Dr Dean Patterson recognising her amazing work and encouraging others to follow suit in volunteering.”

Dr Sandra Dean-Patterson said:

“I am truly delighted to have been selected to receive this acknowledgement by the Queen for work for which I am passionate and committed, both for myself and for the recognition it gives to the dedicated work of Crisis Centre volunteers who man our 24-hour hotline go to police stations to meet with victims of intimate partner violence and accompany rape survivors to court, to mention only some of the activities our volunteers perform. This honour is also shared by all the survivors of violence who have passed through our doors over these last 37 years.”

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The daily Points of Light award recognises outstanding individual volunteers - people who are making a change in their community.

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