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CORA BELLE AND CLOTIL WALCOTT DROP IN CENTRE

Red Thread initially established a Domestic Violence Survivors Self Help Support Group (DVSSHSG). This was a drop in and outreach program, where women and girls in violent situations could come for advice and get support (accompanying them to court, to the police, and to health services where necessary), and where they meet with other survivors to share experiences and gain strength through coming together. The support group also provides referrals for professional counselling, legal advice and representation and shelter where needed.

In 2013, the Cora Belle and Clotil Walcott Self-Help Drop In Centre was established, merging the DVSSHSG with Red Thread’s support for low wage workers. It was named in honor of Cora Belle who was a founding member of Red Thread, a former domestic worker and a survivor of domestic violence and Clotil Walcott, the founder of the National Union of  Domestic Employees in Trinidad & Tobago, a former domestic worker who was a friend of Red Thread with whom we networked. 

In addition to our domestic violence work, the Centre focuses on low-waged workers such as domestic workers, security guards, shop assistants, bartenders, sales clerks, and also pensioners and people on public assistance to name a few. The purpose of the Centre is to provide a safe space where workers exploited at their jobs can come to talk about their situations, get support and advice on where they could go for help. Where needed, we accompany workers to the Ministry of Labour and many have been compensated, though not satisfactorily in some instances. In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, many low waged workers lost their jobs without any compensation and this poses a challenge for us as the employers are using the excuse of the pandemic to their advantage.

The Centre is called a self-help drop in centre because although we are offering services, we don’t just want to do that. We want to equip survivors of domestic violence and low-waged workers with the relevant information they need, so that they can be informed to act in their own defense and also inform and act with others.  

If you need support, please send us an email or call us. You can also come in to the Centre, although we are operating reduced in person hours (Monday – Friday, 11 am – 3 pm) due to the pandemic.


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