“When you don’t understand the dynamics of violence against women – you do more harm than good:” Shamima Ali

22 Nov, 2017

Media Release (Nadi 21 November 2017)- Coordinator of the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre (FWCC) Shamima Ali told Police Officers from around the pacific that if they fail to understand the dynamics of a domestic violence case, they could end up putting the survivor at more risk and more often a worse situation than when she first reported at the police station.

She continued that this workshop is vital for all Police Officers to be gender sensitized in order to improve services in handling gender based violence cases reported to them.

Looking for reasons as to why the wife or girlfriend was beaten is common practice amongst police throughout the Pacific. Rethinking and having the will to reeducate yourselves on recognizing that violence against women and domestic violence is a crime – and that there should never be any justification for domestic violence – means as Police Officers you have to be ready to be challenged on engrained behaviors and beliefs,says Ali.

Stuart Campbell, AFP Federal Agent challenges participants to be open minded about the course. “This course will at times cause discomfort and at some point you may feel offended but let us bear in mind that this training is based on facts and figures and are not made up. Hence we requested the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre, who specialize in this field and who are very professional at it to deliver this Gender Based Violence and Human Rights Training”.

Due to the high rates of gender based violence (GBV), FWCC in collaboration with the Australian Federal Police (AFP) is running a series of trainings to address the issue. Ali said that over 90% of perpetrators are males and 80% of perpetrator are known to the victims where 50% are relatives.
The 5-day training for the Executive Pacific Police Officers is underway at the Sofitel Nadi. An initiative between the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre (FWCC) and the Australian Federal Police (AFP).

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