The workshops with police officers on DA, sexual offenses legislation and related issues took place on the 24th of June at Hill Top Hotel with 35 (25 male, 10 female) officers present. Key highlights of the workshop included:
- Presentation on the nature, dynamics, and prevalence of domestic violence and sexual offenses, the impact of DV and sexual offenses on survivors and the community, and an overview of relevant national and international laws, including the Domestic Violence Act (DVA) and sexual offenses legislation.
- Comprehensive training on the Domestic Violence Act (DVA), including its provisions, definitions, and legal obligations; the legal procedures and steps involved in responding to domestic violence cases; and the role of the police in ensuring the safety and protection of survivors.
- Investigation of sexual offences, including consent, collection of evidence, and forensic procedures; the sensitivities and challenges encountered during sexual offences investigations and an overview of victim-centered approaches and trauma-informed interviewing techniques.
- providing effective support and assistance to domestic violence and sexual offences survivors; techniques for empathetic communication, active listening, and building trust and an overview of referral pathways and available support services for survivors.
- Discussion on the importance of inter-agency collaboration in addressing domestic violence and sexual offences; and coordinating responses with relevant stakeholders, such as social services, healthcare professionals, and legal practitioners.
- Maintaining professionalism, confidentiality, and unbiased attitudes when responding to DV and sexual offences cases; the importance of addressing personal biases and cultural stereotypes and an overview of ethical guidelines and codes of conduct for police officers.
Output: One workshop was facilitated to educate 35 police officers on relevant laws, procedures, and best practices related to SGBV.
Outcome: Enhanced understanding and increased competency of police officers in handling SGBV cases and providing support to survivors. A Post-training survey conducted after the workshops shows a 40% increase in police officers’ awareness of SGBV legislation, DVA and improved attitudes towards survivors.