Edmond Salik CHIEF of Police Kosrae: Domestifc Violence is More Than Just The Name

9 Feb, 2018

[GUAM Feb 08 2018] With a population of approximately 6,500 people, Edmond Salik who is the Chief of Police for Kosrae one of the four-island states of Federated States of Micronesia sees the challenges of addressing violence against women on Kosrae very clearly.

Salik explained that most of their reported cases are to do with disturbing the peace and are mostly alcohol related.  Salik believes that the underreporting of domestic violence cases is largely due to the fact that everyone knows everyone and it becomes a challenge for victims to have the courage to report,” says Salik.  Similar to other small pacific island populations, reporting violence against women and domestic violence cases can be extremely challenging.  “anything that happens in the home or in the family is expected to be dealt with by the family and taking it out of the family is seen as a big no-no for many because they don’t want everyone to know what is going on in their lives.  This is the biggest challenge I see that stops women from reporting,” explained Salik.

Learning about the different forms of violence against women at this training has been a real eye-opener for Salik who was not aware of the diverse and various forms of violence that women who are victims are facing, “learning about the different forms of violence has been an eye-opener for me because many times we only think about domestic violence by physical injuries only and we don’t think about the other types of domestic violence that is just as harmful for victims,” said Salik.

Physical, sexual, emotional and financial violence used against women was discussed in detailed during the workshop.  Lead trainer, Shamima Ali, took the senior level executive police officers through a detailed breakdown of the different forms violence that have been reported across the pacific, “naming the violence is important because then you get to understand domestic violence and all its forms rather than just saying domestic violence all the time but really looking at it past a physical injury,” said Ali.  Salik was surprised to look at the many forms of domestic violence such as, burning body parts of the victim, cutting the victims hair or body, urinating on the victim, making the victim eat rocks, using heave objects on the victim, isolating the victim from her family and friends, telling the victim she is ugly and worthless, damaging property owned by the victim, “this showed me that my police officers need more training in this area because we like to say that domestic violence is not a big issue on the island but when I look at the different forms of violence it means that women could be undergoing any of these types of violence and no-one will ever know, so training police in the area is much needed, domestic violence is more than just the name” said Salik.

Salik explained that they had a total of 17 domestic violence cases reported in 2017 and would like to see a Safe House established on the island as it might help and encourage women to report because then they will know there is somewhere they can go to if they are too scared to report.

There are 28 male police officers and 1 female officer on Kosrae.  Salik is attending the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre (FWCC) Gender and Human Rights Training for Senior Executive Level Police Officers from the Micronesian region in Guam [ENDS]

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