About Centre Against Abuse
Centre Against Abuse became a registered charity June 11, 1979 under the name the Physical Abuse Centre. The services at that time included the first hot line, counselling, and safe housing dedicated specifically to victims of abuse on island.
January 2010 the name officially changed to the Centre Against Abuse. Today we provide services for male and female adult survivors of domestic abuse and sexual assault.

In the spring of 1976, The Business and Professional Women’s Association of Bermuda held a seminar on ‘Rape’ in the Woodbourne Room of the Bermudiana Hotel. The audience was inspired by guest speaker Miss Christina Anderson, Det. Supt. John Sheehy, Chief Pathologist, Dr, Keith Cunningham, Dr. Elizabeth Mayall, and Mrs. Moya Boyd.

Some members of the audience were inspired enough to agree to meet again for further discussions. In June 1977 this group took a further step when it brought in two counsellors from Ontario, Canada, to lead a 5-day workshop on telephone and person-to-person counseling for volunteers. This was the catalyst for the organization that was registered as a charity on June 11, 1979 under the name The Physical Abuse Centre.

Special recognition must be given to the role played by The Business and Professional Women’s Association, under the President Audrey Brackstone, and its Civics Committee in particular, under the Co-Chairmanship of Annabella Gaye Fraser; for they were the catalysts for change in this area of social need.

Initially, the fledgling group had no elected officers, except a treasurer and corresponding secretary. Ad hoc committees were formed to deal with the various aims, which included: stimulating public awareness, instituting counseling services and a 24-hour hotline, training local counselors, and establishing a “safe house” for battered women.

The founding members went about their aim of educating the public by producing manuals and pamphlets for distribution to survivors, families, friends, and the public. It wasn’t long before another of their goals, a “safe house”, was realized, with the renting of “Ripleigh” on the corner of Victoria and King Streets in Hamilton, in October 1979. In its first six months of operation, the “safe house” gave refuge to 11 women and 15 children; with others being turned away because the home, with a capacity for only six women could not accommodate them.

That same month, their goal of securing a hotline was realized with the assistance of the Salvation Army’s “Helpline”, who agreed to transfer calls from any physically abused persons to The Physical Abuse Centre’s on-call counsellor. With some 20 trained counsellors working, in the first six months of its operation, the Hotline was used by 52 women.

Founding Members

According to the Constitution, are those who joined as of April 30, 1979. These include:

Diane Bean
Barbara Bryons
Barbara Conyers
Violetta Carmichael
Janice Darrell
Milton Darrell
Sue Davis
Barbara DeRosa
Melvin Dickinson
Mike Edwards
Marilyn Simons Eastmond
Stephen Emery
Annabella Gaye Fraser
Penny Fowkes
Angela Frith
Jane Green
Dr. Elizabeth Galloway
Margaret Holm
Elise Hyde
Deborah Jackson
Joanne Jones
Sony Kessaram
Barbara Lee
Ron Lightbourne
Hilary Lightbourne
Dr. Emily Liddell
Carol Masters
Dr. Elisabeth Mayall
Leonard G. E Ming
Michael Murray
Kristina Nadarajah
Wilma Nelson
Sandra Ogden
Patricia Pimentel
Erica Prescesky
Peter Profit
Lois Raynor
Raymond Raynor
Barbara Scott
Kim Selby
Enid Simmons
Ann Simons
Vernon Simons
Jo-Anne Smith
Marilyn V. Smith
Dale Tacklyn Place
Richard Taylor
Deborah Thomas
Sheila Tyrrell
Al Wharton
Sharon R. Wilson
Dr. Andrew & Wendy West
Joyce Walker
Hazel Waters


In 1982
After a period of reassessment, The Physical Abuse Centre was relocated to a Salvation Army owned property in Warwick. The new premises allowed for an office, as well as, accommodations for seven women and two children. Dr. Mary Busby, became the group’s first Executive Director and provided “in-house” counselling for those seeking help. The years that followed were ones of growth and the “safe house” was moved to larger premises at “Mount Faith” in Smith’s Parish. By 1984 The Physical Abuse Centre had handled 160 cases. With need for the facility firmly established, a formal request was made to the Ministry of Health & Social Services for a grant. The Centre also adopted a Constitution and with the more structured format, created a Board of Directors, with Mr. Choy Aming serving as the first Chairman of the Board.

In 2010
The Physical Abuse Centre went through another transformation. In May 27, 2010, The Physical Abuse Centre changed their name to the Centre Against Abuse. This name change was decided by the Board of Directors to better reflect the organizations purpose in the community. In 2015, the Centre Against Abuse added sexual assault to the services they provided, and worked very closely as members of the Sexual Assault Response Team (SART).

In 2016

The Centre Against Abuse became accredited under the Bermuda National Standards Committee. Centre Against AbuseVision is to eradicate domestic abuse and sexual assault in Bermuda, and eliminate the need for our services. Centre Against Abuse Mission is to provide services to adult victims of domestic violence and sexual assault; and offer awareness for our community.

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