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Police: Gatekeeping Requires Courage

    Violence against women and children, abuse and exploitation exists in most societies and considered a human rights issue, reproductive health and development issues that affect not only women
02 Dec 2015 10:30
Police: Gatekeeping Requires Courage
Gatekeepers from various communities around the western division participating at the two day Women and Children Summit at Kshatriya Hall in Nadi. Photo: FARISHA AHMED

 

 

Violence against women and children, abuse and exploitation exists in most societies and considered a human rights issue, reproductive health and development issues that affect not only women and children but the society as a whole.

To address the social stigma, the Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation staged a two-day summit in Nadi on Zero Tolerance Violence Free Communities.

With the Fiji Police Force acting as a key gatekeeper for communities and our own homes, Acting Assistant Commissioner of Police and chief administration officer, SSP Unaisi Vuniwaqa, said taking on the challenge required a lot of courage.

“It will require the moral courage to speak up and be assertive of those that have been victimised,” she said.

“Women and children are not only perpetrated or threatened in public places, in streets but it is also happening within the comforts of our home which makes victims more vulnerable, given the fact on whether or not to report the matters resting squarely on their shoulders.

“This is in addition to the pain and trauma they have to endure as victims of crime so as gatekeepers this is the real issue, the challenges, whether to report to Police or not, whether to investigate or not.”

She is urging on gatekeepers to step up and assist and make communities and homes violence free.

SSP Vuniwaqa believes it is important that gatekeepers understand what the components of the crime are so that it can be looked at holistically rather than from one angle.

“Any crime is based on three factors, in your role, the target of the victim, the suspect that offends, the place of offence,” she said.

“You need to understand that effective strategies are put in place to curb the crime in our communities.”

The ministry acknowledges the cross cutting nature of its responsibilities and recognises that building partnership truly holds the key to sharing the quest to bring about progressive changes into society, and where women’s contribution matters significantly and the protection of both children and the vulnerable places priority on the development agenda.

 

Feedback:  farisha.ahmed@fijisun.com.fj

 

 

 

 

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