Executive Level Officers Determined to Make a Change.

26 Nov, 2017

Nadi (24 November 2017) Executive level Police Officers from around the Pacific have made commitments towards improving police services in addressing gender based violence (GBV) survirvors in their respective countries

The officers were given an opportunity to discuss amongst their country groups a plan of action that they will be able to realistically work towards upon returning to their countries.

“We have discussed the critical importance of improving our skills in dealing with GBV survivors as this training has really opened our eyes to see the reality of what survivors go through and their experiences have taught us to be very compassionate towards them and avoid victim blaming which further victimises survivors, said Superintendent Sina Tafua, of Samoa Police Force.

Inspector Christopher Edwards, of Kiribati Police Force highlighted that they shall push for a review of current GBV related policies within the workforce and also lobby for zero tolerance on domestic violence and violence against women and children cases.

Davies Saravanu a Male Advocate under the FWCC Male Advocate program and also Inspector with Vanuatu Police  said one of his personal commitments as an executive level police officer is to lobby for a sexual harassment policy within the police force and to also fully implement a zero tolerance policy on GBV cases in Vanuatu and to cease the use of reconciliation and round-table approaches to GBV cases because the survivor has no voice in that process, said Davis

Sita Paeniu, Inspector with the Tuvalu Police Service said that he was going to re-look at the rape laws in Tuvalu and lobby for amendments to broaden the definition of rape to include all forms of rape and not just penile penetration.

Other countries represented requested for more GBV and human rights training by FWCC and AFP especially for senior management police.

Stuart Campbell, AFP Federal Agent commended FWCC Coordinator, Shamima Ali and her staff and Ofa Guttenbeil Likiliki of the Women and Children Crisis Centre (WCCC) Tonga for their excellent facilitation during the 5-day training concluded on Friday.  “We are quite sure that we are well equipped from this training and with all the knowledge acquired this week it shall surely enhance and improve our services to gender based violence (GBV) survivors,’ Stuart said.

Superintendent Kurt Plummer, Coordinator of the Pacific Police Development Program – Regional (PPDP-R), speaking at the graduation dinner on Friday said “you don’t have to go back and change the world – start with small changes – start with changing your attitude first.  Think about the smoking problem not too long ago you could smoke anywhere and today you can’t – society changes over time slowly but surely and sure enough the big change will come. So start with changing attitudes and changing your beliefs and society will change with you – it starts with you and me”. Kurt continued saying that he has been with the Australian police for more than 30 years and he has seen major changes since starting with the police force in terms of dealing with GBV cases, “I would not want to return to some of those practices and attitudes back when I first started and certainly won’t allow others to do so – not under my watch”.

The training concluded with a certificate presentation and a closing dinner.


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