NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Bahamas Crisis Centre director Dr Sandra Dean-Patterson has been honored by Queen Elizabeth II for her exceptional voluntary service supporting survivors of violence and abuse.
Dean-Patterson founded the centre, the first organization in the Caribbean to provide support services to women survivors of
physical, sexual and emotional abuse, in 1982.
Today, the centre addresses all forms of domestic and sexual violence, providing legal advice and counseling to women, men, and children
The award for Dean-Patterson was presented today by British High Commissioner in The Bahamas Sarah Dickson.
“I am truly delighted to have been selected to receive this acknowledgement by the
Queen for work for which I am passionate and committed,” Dean-Patterson.
“I am especially delighted 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, among
“Importantly, this honour is also shared by all the survivors of violence who have passed through our doors over these last 37 years,” she added.
“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.
As part of the legacy of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London 2018, The Queen – as Head of the Commonwealth – is thanking inspirational volunteers across the 53 Commonwealth nations for the difference they are making in their communities and beyond, by recognizing one volunteer from each Commonwealth country every week.
By sharing these stories of service, the Commonwealth Points of Light awards celebrate inspirational acts of volunteering across the Commonwealth and help inspire others to make their own contribution to tackling some of the greatest social challenges of our time.
Each Commonwealth Point of Light will receive a personalized certificate signed by Her Majesty The Queen as Head of the Commonwealth.
Dickson 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.”
“Volunteering is a vital part of developing successful communities and it is great to see it happening here in The Bahamas,” she added.