NATION

Vuniwaqa Hopes For Change In Policing Of Violence Cases

The five-day training was organised by Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre for more than 30 Police Officers.
09 Nov 2020 11:17
Vuniwaqa Hopes For Change In Policing Of Violence Cases
Sitting second from left: UNWomen Fiji rep Abby Erikson, Minister for Women Mereseini Vuniwaqa, Fiji Womens’ Crisis Centre coordinator Shamima Ali with the police officers from the Southern Division Command at the closing of the FWCC Police training. Photo: Shalveen Chand

Victims of violence who go to report their matters at the Police station are treated like suspects which is not tolerable.

This was said by the Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Mereseini Vuniwaqa, while closing the gender-based violence training at Tanoa Plaza, Suva on Saturday.

The five-day training was organised by Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre for more than 30 Police Officers.

Speaking to the officers, Ms Vuniwaqa said discipline forces like the Fiji Police are usually dominated by men and many times they were the first persons to hear from women who were in need of humanitarian assistance.

“In executing your crucial duties, it is very important that your officers uphold human rights and be gender sensitive at all the times,” she said.

She also acknowledged the Acting Police Commissioner (ACP) Rusiate Tudravu for recognising that Police Officers are terrible at treating vicitims of domestic violence.

“ACP Tudravu during the opening of this workshop said he was to say that most of the time when victims go to the police station to lodge a complaint, they are treated like suspects. I agree with him,” she said.

She said the training should no longer be an excuse for police officers to continue with the way they had been policing domestic violence cases.

“It is now time for the new norm which I hope will change the fear of reporting, to one of trusting the policing system. A norm which will not victimize further, which will protect survivors and their children, a norm that every woman and child who have been exposed to violence can have hope in. Knowing that you, the police, have got their back,” Ms Vuniwaqa said.

Edited by Selita Bolanavanua

Feedback: shreeya.verma@fijisun.com.fj



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