Caption: Participants of the Gender, Violence against Women, Human Rights and Legal Workshop . Photo: SUPPLIED
37 officers of the Fiji Police Force are currently undergoing a week long training at the Hexagon Hotel in Nadi on Gender, Violence against Women, Human Rights and Legal Workshop focusing on laws and police duties related to responding to reports of violence against women.
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 cases of violence against women and girls, and police responses.
FWCC Coordinator Shamima Ali says they are always ready to work with authorities on issues affecting women adding it was a step forward, being invited by the DPC Western to train their officers on how to better deal with cases involving women.
“This workshop is hopefully, the first in a series, which will cover other districts. The Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre and its Branches have been receiving consistent complaints of inappropriate responses to women and girls reporting crimes of violence against them. This workshop is designed to raise awareness on various forms of violence against women and the various decrees that pertain to them. The final objective is to forge a more cooperative relationship with the Police and a greater understanding of the issues. This is not about saying they deserve special treatment because they’re women, what we’re saying is, give them the respect and equal treatment they deserve,” says Ms Ali.
She goes on to say that it was promising to see that the Police in the Western Division were being proactive in trying to better understand how to deal with cases involving women.
Supported by the Australian Government Aid Program, the workshop began yesterday Monday, 17 March and will run until Friday 21 March.
Police officers attending the workshop are from Sigatoka, Nadi and Lautoka.