“It’s going to take all of us to address violence against women”: Chief Of Police Guam Joseph Cruz

5 Feb, 2018

[05 February, Guam] “One of the commitments I have made as the Chief of Police from Guam, is to assist police from across Micronesia by helping to culminate training, such as this, to up-skill and improve police responses to violence against women and domestic violence cases,” said Joseph Cruz, Guam Chief of Police.

Cruz had made the comment during the opening of a joint Australian Federal Police (AFP) and Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre (FWCC) Human Rights and Gender Training where senior and executive level police from across Micronesia have come together, for the first time, to undertake specialised training on human rights and gender.  He went on to remind his fellow comrades that combating violence against women needed a collaborative effort; “it’s going to take all of us to address violence against women, we can’t just leave it to a few.”

The 5-day training will take the executive level police officers through intensive sessions dedicated to understanding gender and gender related concepts.  The senior level officers will also be taken through in-depth sessions covering all the forms of violence against women namely; domestic violence or intimate partner violence, rape, sexual harassment and child sexual abuse.

Lead trainer, Shamima Ali who is also the Coordinator of the FWCC and the Chair of the Pacific Women’s Network Against Violence Against Women (PWNAVAW) told the participants to expect a level of discomfort during the training, “during the course of this training there will times where your very own beliefs and behaviours towards women will be challenged and that’s okay because then you can be assured that the training is working because in this training we use a survivour-centered approach that challenges internalised views and perceptions of women with the overall goal of improving police response in the area of violence against women,” said Ali at the opening program.

The joint AFP and FWCC training initiative has been rolled out throughout the Pacific since 2014.  Since its inception there has been three first-responders trainings held; one covering the Northern Pacific held in Pohnepei and two covering the South Pacific held in Fiji.  Stuart Campbell, Advisor from the AFP also informed the participants that there has been three regional executive level police trainings held in Fiji, and now the current executive level training in Guam taking the number of senior executive level trainings to four.

The 5-day training commenced Monday 5 February and runs through to Friday 9 February at the Westin Hotel, Guam. [ENDS]


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