By ROLAND KOROI
The efforts of the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre to train Fiji’s police officers to better understand the different laws in place that deal with violence against women have been applauded by the Fiji Police Force.
In officially closing a five day workshop by the FWCC on Gender, Violence against Women, Human Rights and the Law, Divisional Police Commander South, ASSP Selesitino Vakakoro said violence against women and children was one of the most pervasive violations of human rights.
He said despite this it was one of the least prosecuted crimes which is why it was a threat to peace and development in any country.
“We all know that we have to do much more to respond to these cries for justice of women and children who have suffered violence. We have to do much more so as not to allow these human rights abuses to continue which is why I thank the coordinator and staff of the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre for their vision and effort that has materialized in the form of this workshop which has upgraded the skill and knowledge of the 41 officers who have attended,” said ASSP Vakakoro.
He went on to say that the time for complacency was long gone as the silence on violence was broken, and with the knowledge gained from the week long workshop, it was time for police officers to respond stronger to eliminate such crimes.
This is the fourth police training conducted by the FWCC, the first three being held in the Western and Northern Divisions.
“The past week, like the three previous workshops has been very fruitful. There has been a lot of questions, police officers have admitted to having a broader understanding of the different existing laws that deal with violence against women and children and for us, I’ve always said that at the end of the day, these trainings are to ensure that all forms of violence against women and children are eliminated and from the feedback we’ve been receiving from all these trainings, we’re confident that there will be some positive changes in Police responses to crimes of violence against women and girls and children,” said FWCC Coordinator Ms Shamima Ali.
The police officers who were part of the five day workshop were presented with their certificates this afternoon.
Another training is planned for police officers from the eastern division including Lomaiviti and Lau.