Proposals to improve police response focus of domestic violence consultation

There should be sensitivity training for police and the creation of domestic violence units at each police station to better respond to victims of domestic violence.

Those along with other recommendations were given when the NGO Caribbean Development Foundation (NCDF) yesterday held a public consultation, at the Pegasus Hotel, in Georgetown, with non governmental organisations in Guyana to formulate proposals for lawmakers to curb and reduce domestic violence.

Governing Director and Founder of the NGO Caribbean Development Foundation (NCDF) Carol Daniel, speaking at yesterday’s domestic violence consultation at the Pegasus Hotel.

The NCDF is a regional organisation based in Trinidad and was created in order to make its contribution to the development of the NGO sector in the Caricom region.

Founder and Director of NCDF Carol Daniel, speaking with Stabroek News, explained that the consultation held yesterday was the second of a three phase plan, which the organisation has implemented to assist in sensitisation as well as eradication of gender-based violence throughout the Caribbean.

Phase one, Daniels informed, was a regional conference on violence against women, held in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, on September 21 and 22 last year.

Danuta Radzik, of Help and Shelter, represented Guyana at the regional conference, where many recommendations were made, such as the role the police should play in domestic violence cases, creation of domestic violence units, creation of sexual assault response teams attached to domestic violence units as well as others focused on the health sector in the region and its ability to cope with domestic violence.

Similar forums were held in Suriname, Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad and Grenada. By March next year also, NCDF would have completed all of the individual country forums.

The recommendations from the regional conference were used as a guideline for local NGOs to make amendments tailored to suit domestic violence trends in respective Caribbean nations. These amendments will be documented and presented to government officials and a representative from NCDF hopes to lobby for their implementation when they meet in March next year.

Daniels said she anticipates a positive response next year and not just only that governments listen but that they will move expeditiously to incorporate proposals given and implement certain infrastructure that would help not only NGOs but societies as they strive to eradicate all gender-based violence.

The organisation also wants to formalise statistical information given on gender violence in each Caribbean territory, making for understanding of issues and their causes in particular countries so that they can be better targeted.

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