Around 40 police officers from Ba, Rakiraki, Tavua and Nadi are attending a week long workshop on Gender, Violence against Women, Human Rights and the Law, focusing on laws and police duties related to responding to reports of violence against women and girls.
The workshop is being facilitated by the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre and is in collaboration with the Divisional Police Commander Western in response to the recent complaints against police officers in dealing with cases of violence against women and girls; and supported by the Australian government.
Speaking at the opening of the workshop this morning, the OC of Nadi Police Station Acting ASP Petero Tuinararama told participants it was important that they know their roles as police officers in dealing with cases of violence against women and girls.
He said this was one reason he was happy that the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre was willing to come on board and help them understand better the issues and the pertinent laws.
Speaking from experiences in his association with the FWCC as a Male Advocate against violence against women for the last 5 years and as Chair of the Elimination of Violence against women and children in Nadi he said in most cases, it was the cultural attitude of police officers that got in the way of their work while dealing with crimes of violence against women and girls.
It was because of this he said that most officers became non-enforcers of the law and were not able to provide women with the help they needed.
Mr Tuinararama said it was also common practice in the past for police officers to advise men in these cases which was wrong. He urged police officers to comply with DV Decree and play a leading role in victims acquiring DVRO’s. He said often police officers advise men to acquire DVRO’s which are wrong in principles.
He stressed to those present that if police officers dealt with these cases properly, men would know that the police are serious and it would discourage them from offending and reoffending.
The workshop is being held at the Hexagon Hotel in Nadi and will run until Thursday.
For more information, call Shamima Ali – 9992875