The Christian Care Centre [CCC] provides a safe haven for women and their children who are victims of Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse. It emphasizes that all women and children have the right to a life free from violence and works towards achieving this by providing the principal services of rehabilitation at the Centre.
The CCC opened its doors in 2004 in response to escalating domestic violence perpetrated by men to their wives or women/girls who have been subject to rape as the result of the Ethnic Tension on Guadalcanal Island. The Ethnic Tension lasted for 5 years with the spill over effects continuing on today with women and their children and young girls seeking refuge at the CCC.
The CCC is managed by Sr. Doreen of the Community of the Sisters of the Church and assisted by Sisters from the Community of the Sisters of Melanesia and a whole host of Volunteers, women and men who are dedicated to the plight of women, their children and young women who seek refuge at the CCC.
At the CCC the clients are provided with counselling, their medical needs attended together with their children and have a space to rest and rehabilitate. Their daily life at the CCC is one that is also centred on worship and finding peace within themselves. Clients are taught life skills as part of empowering them back to their communities. They learn fabric dying and printing, jam making, crocheting, appliqué and baking. The clients’ legal interests are also addressed by the CCC staff through legal frameworks that are in place and cases that require police presence are also made available to/for the clients.
The CCC staff as part of their client’s rehabilitation back into their communities and especially homes with their husbands, travel to assess situations and report back to the CCC. In the event that a client is at risk of being violated or abused again when returned to her home, the CCC makes alternate arrangements for the client to resettle with relatives. Clients after completing their period of rehabilitation and are fit and ready to reunite with their husbands or families have their travel and basic necessities met by the CCC.
The CCC also realised in time that in order to achieve the ideal hope of having happy families and communities where there is no domestic violence and abuse that man must be provided an avenue where they learn to appreciate themselves and women. The Male Advocacy Program was introduced to address issues of violence and abuse where men are sensitized to issues of gender, expectations of society for men to be good husbands, fathers, brothers, uncles, grandfathers and worthwhile citizens of their communities and in Melanesia to be seen as ‘true men’. The two male Religious Orders, the Society of St Francis and Melanesian Brotherhood in ACOM are heavily involved in this program with a lot of volunteers including clergies.
As the CCC gains significant recognition of the work it does, so does the increased number of clients that are admitted to the Centre putting a strain on existing facilities which were meant for a smaller number of 20 women and the possibility of one or two smaller children only. The CCC is the only established Centre in the Solomon Islands and as such take in women from all over the country and from all Religious backgrounds. The CCC is now in the process of raising funds to build the Rainbow Wing to house women/girls including those with disabilities who are victims of all forms of violence and sexual abuse.