KINGSTON, Jamaica (Friday, July 22, 2022) — Jamaica will continue to build its capacity to tackle gender-based violence, stressed Minister of State in the Ministry of National Security, Zavia Mayne.
Addressing the first, of a five-day workshop, of the Regional Knowledge Exchange on Operational Command of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in the Caribbean, at the AC Marriot Hotel, on Monday, Mayne said the workshop would help the participants in the region to learn from the best practices of the various countries.
“We are proud of the work done, over the past 20 years, by our Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA) in Jamaica and the Domestic Violence Intervention Centres, that will be key features of this five-day regional workshop,” he noted.
The workshop will prioritise improved technical competencies for leaders in the day-to-day management of cases, from the initial report through to the investigation and submission of cases for judicial processing.
Mayne said that countries in the Caribbean could work to develop a regional model for tackling GBV.
“The Barbados Police Service has developed two specialised units, since 2013, to examine Family Conflict Intervention, Sex Crimes and Trafficking. The practices of a similar specialised unit, established within the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service, in early 2020, have received early support from women rights advocates and other key stakeholders in the country,” he added.
“The possibility is there for us, to collectively develop a regional model for how these units can operate, and I strongly endorse this effort to develop a community of practice,” Mayne said.
The State Minister said he believes investments must be made to better equip law enforcement to tackle GBV, and added that the government is committed to doing so.
“We must invest in equipping the pool of skilled professionals, who will be the first responders and investigators to such incidents, with certified training of the highest standards. I am sure that there are many examples, across the region, of such investments in human resource capacity-building,” State Minister Mayne said.
He noted that targeted branches of the Jamaica Constabulary Force have undergone training in responding to GBV cases.
“Our Community Safety and Security Branch developed a training course on Domestic Violence Intervention that was ratified by the National Police College of Jamaica, which targets police officers, from across all 19 geographic divisions, as well as Domestic Violence Centre Managers,” Mayne explained.
He also noted that there are continuous training seminars and workshops, designed for station commanders and section leaders, such as the Criminal Investigations Bureau and CISOCA.
These trainings, he said, incorporate a focus on the JCF’s policies and standard operating procedures on domestic violence and laws, while also engaging external partners and content on GBV prevention.
He elaborated that there needs to be continuous capacity-building for law enforcement, across the region, to respond and reassure the public that gender-based violence is a priority.
“This training must become increasingly ambitious in scope, incorporating digital skills, forensic analysis and victim-centred case management. The State will undoubtedly lead, but this enterprise must be multi-modal and collaborative in nature.
“Partners here, at this table and beyond, must therefore, be ready to answer those calls for support from police agencies across the Caribbean and broker those opportunities for learning and engagement,” Mayne said.
The event is being co-hosted by the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), in partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), UN Women and the European Union Spotlight Initiative.