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Services for survivors of gender-based violence set to further improve

Services for survivors of gender-based violence set to further improve
Forty participants at this week’s workshop to validate and agree on the contents of the draft Fiji National Service Delivery Protocol. Photo: Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation
May 18
11:00 2017

Women and children in the country confronted by violence will soon have improved access to timely and relevant services.

This is possible with the drafting of a new interagency National Service Delivery Protocol for Responding to Cases of Gender Based Violence.

The planned improvements are being led by the Ending Violence Against Women (EVAW) Taskforce, Government’s formal body to address issues of violence faced by women and children, in collaboration with health, Police, counselling and advocacy, shelter, legal aid and other frontline service providers helping survivors in need.

These partners are among the 40 participants attended this week’s UN Women sponsored workshop at the Warwick from May 15 to 17, to validate and agree on the contents of the draft Fiji National Service Delivery Protocol for Responding to Cases of Gender Based Violence- Standard Operating Procedures for Interagency Response Among Social Services, Police, Health and Legal/Justice Provider.

The two-day workshop was officially opened by the Assistant Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Veena Bhatnagar, who highlighted the “extensive level of consultation that has occurred over past months at both divisional level and now at the national level with this validation workshop.”

“The success of these protocols will depend on how well we consult during this drafting phase, and ensure service providers unite in a meaningful way to help determine the pathway to best help victims,” Ms Bhatnagar said.

“There are many services available for survivors of gender-based violence in Fiji and they need to have ways to best access the different services available.

“With these service providers all working together, in a co-ordinated and agreed approach set out in the protocols, it will streamline the assistance being provided to victims and greatly assist them access timely and necessary services,” she said.

Among participants were senior representatives from the Fiji Police Force, Ministry of Health, Ministry of iTaukei Affairs, Judiciary Department, Legal Aid Commission, Medical Services Pacific, Homes of Hope and House of Sarah and Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre.

Co-ordinator of the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre, Shamima Ali, said: “This is going to help women, girls and child abuse survivors to better access services.

“This is an historic milestone in the work on eliminating violence against women and girls,” Ms Ali said.

“The development of this protocol is binding us together – the many service providers – by clarifying good practices and exactly what each of our services offer, and how we can best work together to ensure survivors are treated with the dignity, respect and care they deserve.

“If we’re all co-ordinated and working better together, then we can better deliver the right service at the right time when it’s most needed by survivors of violence.”

UN Women Multi-Country Office (MCO) Representative, Aleta Miller, praised the efforts of Government and the many service providers and partners in developing this National Service Delivery Protocol.

“The Government and service providers of Fiji have been outstanding in their level of commitment and dedication in formulating these interagency protocols to assist survivors of gender-based violence,” Ms Miller said.

“UN Women is pleased to collaborate with Government and partners to provide the high-level of technical expertise required to assist draft the document, as well as provide funding for the protocol’s development including its comprehensive consultation process at divisional level and nationally via this workshop.”

Plans are underway for the Service Delivery Protocol to be endorsed by Cabinet in the upcoming months.

Development of Government’s draft National Service Delivery Protocol and this week’s workshop, is funded by theUN Women Multi-Country Office (MCO).

 

Feedback: jyotip@fijisun.com.fj

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