The following statement was released by Senator Lindsay Simmons and the Women’s Caucus of the Progressive Labour Party…

We, the Women’s Caucus of the Progressive Labour Party (WC PLP) – Stand United Against Domestic Violence
The WC PLP spokesperson shared, “A lot of people don’t want to talk about it. Domestic violence takes such a horrible toll on women. Physical abuse. Emotional abuse. Mental scarring that lasts years and forever etched in our minds. The depth of the physical, emotional, and mental toll that survivors of domestic violence experience cannot be understated. And it is a burden that survivors cope with for the rest of their lives.”
Senator Lindsay Simmons gave an intimate in-depth recounting of her experience of domestic abuse in Bermuda’s Upper House Senate session earlier today (Nov 18).
Senator Simmons shared: “As a survivor of domestic violence, I know first-hand the trauma associated with such a significant act. My story began in 2000 when I believed I had met the man of my dreams who I believed I would be with forever. In 2002, after learning that he cheated on me and attempting to end the relationship I found myself beaten and chased into a bathroom with the flat part of a machete. In the aftermath, I was described as looking like a ‘rag doll’ by officers who came to my rescue. Feeling frail and insecure months later, I allowed him into home after he begged for forgiveness. I then went on to experience further beatings, was raped and experienced more emotional scarring. As a fellow victim it breaks my heart to see another family having to bury their daughter due to domestic violence here in Bermuda.
“I am pleading with our women, our sisters, our family, our friends, and the community that mental, physical, and emotional abuse is never ok. We need to be there for our women when they are crying out for help. Many people are ashamed if their child, partner, or friend exhibits signs of mental illness. Most mental health disorders can be treated with intervention, medication, or both. As a society, we must fight against the stigma associated with mental health disorders and associated treatment.
“We need to continue to raise our daughters to know that physical, mental, emotional, and financial abuse does not equate to love. If someone loves you, they should never intentionally hurt you. We need to raise our young men to value themselves and their partner.
“We need to be a voice for the voiceless. This could be your family member, and this could be your friend; this could be any of us, and this could have been me. We need to remember and honor the names and lives of those we have lost as a result of Domestic Violence. No one should have to go through this.

“We must remember and honour the names and lives of those we have lost as a result of Domestic Violence. No one should have to go through this.
“To those in the midst of crisis or to our survivors; we, the Government representatives, empathise with what you’re going through.
“We are particularly proud of our community partners and the work that they do each day to provide a safe haven for those affected. The Centre Against Abuse and the Women’s Resource Center, for example, do some incredible work with survivors of domestic violence. The Government makes every effort to strongly support their work and evidence of its commitment is seen through its annual grant to the Centre Against Abuse.
“The services offered by the Centre include safe housing, which provides a safe space for victims for up to 2 months and help transitioning them to a permanent home. There’s a 24-hour helpline which people who are experiencing abuse can call and get immediate help. There is counselling and the counsellors work with clients helping them to overcome the trauma of abuse and helping them heal and thrive.
“Additionally, to support those impacted by domestic violence court advocacy services are offered which help clients obtain Domestic Violence Protection Orders and Summary Offence letters.
“The government is proud to support the Center Against Abuse, but there is still more work to do.
“Specifically, we need to speed up the length of time that criminal cases take to come before the court.
“Too many people drop cases because the time frame is too long. Further, an immediate Domestic Violence Note should be available to applicants in short order and without fee.
“As your Government, we recognise that we have more work to do to help survivors of domestic violence.
“I know as a Senator; I stand with Women in the PLP as we champion for further support to be awarded.
“We thank the Centre Against Abuse and similar local organisations for their incredible work. Bermuda, domestic violence does not impact women alone, we must recognise that men can experience it also.
“If you’re a victim of domestic assault, there is help and support available to you. You don’t have to stay; you do not have to continue to endure the violent treatment. You are strong. You are loved and we need to be the voice of the voiceless”
Senator Lindsay Simmons and the Women’s Caucus of the Progressive Labour Party