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Moms launch violence support group

Mothers on a Mission — Nicole Fox and Dee-ah Iris speak at a press conference (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

Grieving mothers who have endured the pain of losing sons to violent crime have come together to form a support group.

Mothers on a Mission was officially launched yesterday in a bid to help tackle the fallout from gun crime and violence in Bermuda.

The initiative, which is backed by the Government, will be led by Dee-Ah Iris, whose son Steven was fatally stabbed in 2013, and Nicole Fox, whose son Ricco Furbert was shot dead the same year.

The group will provide a safe forum to express grief, concerns and also the opportunity to speak to trained counsellors.

Ms Fox said: “The group’s core values will be support, respect, education, empowerment and forgiveness.

“We start the reconciliation process by facilitating the uniting of both the victim’s mother and the perpetrator’s mother to be the example we would like to see in our community.”

Ms Iris told a press conference yesterday that the group’s motto was “live in peace, not in pieces”.

She added: “We are a group of women, along with their families and support persons, who have been affected by violence in Bermuda, but are dedicated to bringing peace into their lives and into the community.”

Ms Iris spoke of her own personal loss as she said: “It has been a long journey and sometimes it feels like just yesterday that I lost my son.

“I need this programme. I don’t want to walk around the island in fear. I wanted to be part of the solution. This is Bermuda’s problem.”

Mothers on a Mission Bermuda has already started work to set up a similar support group for men and has had talks with police about community safety.

It has also provided free professional grief counselling to family members of murder victims and it has also joined forces with Gina Spence’s Champions programme to provide grief and loss assessment through Comfort Zone.

Wayne Caines, the Minister of National Security, said the initiative was part of the Government’s holistic approach to tackling violence in the community.

He added “I am pleased to introduce an initiative that is targeted at support, restoration and healing.

“This community is very familiar with the statistics of crime and the result of violence in Bermuda. Beyond the numbers is a human element that must be addressed.

“We must support those impacted directly by violence and restore their spirits to a place where growth and development is again possible.”

For more information about the group contact Ms Fox on 331-9172 or Ms Iris on 704-6355 or by e-mail at mombermuda.gmail.com