Australian Federal Police (AFP) Trainers Vanessa Stone discussing policy with participants. PHOTO: FWCC.
20 Executive Pacific Police Officers from around the region were given the hard-hitting facts of homicide statistics on a global scale. While 6% of homicide victims are male, a staggering 47% are female. Australian Federal Police (AFP) Trainers Vanessa Stone and Stuart Campbell emphasized how much of an epidemic violence against women is not just in the Pacific but also throughout the world.
“The elimination of violence against women (VAW) and children and the United Nations Sustainable Development Gender Equality Goal 5 is a worldwide priority. All Pacific Islands Governments have agreed to undertake strategies to meet this goal and it is important for police, who play a major role in dealing with violence against women and children,” said Stuart.
Areas where police can improve their service delivery and how they can better support survivors of VAW, being respectful and providing feedback to survivors regarding their complaints was amongst the topics discussed. AFP trainers said, “it is how you deal with victims that matters, we need to have compassion in dealing with them because it is our duty to serve and protect them”.
“We need to listen to the community and their complaints about us so we can improve our services, so consider all complaints as helpful feedback because it plays a critical role in developing strategies for improvement,” said Vanessa.
Also discussed during day four of the 5-day training was public expectations of the police, appropriate responses to VAW using case studies and a closer look at a statistical overview of VAW cases documented by Police throughout the Pacific.
The training is facilitated by the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre in partnership with the Australian Federal Police.