Haitian Initiative

This initiative was developed in 2010 to meet the undeserved Haitian population of Collier County. Designed to build bridges with the community, this program ensures Creole-speaking advocates are available and provides a women’s Creole support group as well as other outreach programs in the Haitian community.

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Emigrating from a country where domestic violence is not prohibited; the Haitian population ignores the effect of abuse and accept it as normal routine. Whether they suffer physical abuse, neglect, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, verbal abuse and financial exploitation, they are usually reluctant to come forward and put a stop to it.

This program focuses on educating this minority group on the impact of domestic abuse and providing emotional support, customized safety planning, direct services, community referrals, transportation and legal advocacy. It is instrumental in educating the community, raising awareness and decreasing the rate of abuse and increasing their quality of life.

The Haitian Initiative Advocate is a strong-willed Haitian native, who has been specifically trained to work with the Haitian community.  She has learned to support her fellow Haitian victim as they deal with shame, hopelessness, physical ailments, legal status and economic stress that often negatively influence their ability to seek services. She also continually develops and maintains relationships with community agencies that are involved with minorities to bridge service gaps. Abuse within minority groups is a complex problem that requires community collaboration, community education, and individual services to fully support the victim.

For more information or to get involved, call Advocate Johanne Pierre at 239-775-3862 ext. 229 or email jpierre@naplesshelter.org