Report domestic violence, urges JCFMonday, May 17, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) is encouraging people to report all suspected cases of domestic violence, even if they're not the victim.
The JCF made the call as it reaffirmed its commitment to reducing incidents of domestic violence, through educating citizens, and investigating all reported cases of domestic violence.
The police recently expanded its domestic violence intervention (DVI) centres to St Thomas and are slated to open six others in July of this year.
Head of the JCF's Corporate Communications Unit, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Stephanie Lindsay, said “report it, something will be done. When you have a DVI Centre, [neighbours] can come in or give us a call and tell the police what is going on.''
''The victim may be too embarrassed to do it. Tell the police; there are many pathways from which help can come,” she explained
The JCF said it recognises that during the period of the COVID-19 pandemic, people in abusive situations may be at increased risk of abuse. The fallout of the economic downturn and the restrictions on movement have forced some people into close quarters for protracted periods, which has placed additional stress on households that are already dysfunctional.
The JCF said it has sought to expand its capacity to intervene in domestic violence situations. Lindsay said over 300 supervisors and managers have had DVI training since 2020, with 168 in the last three months.
This is in addition to the mandatory domestic violence module for all police recruits in basic training at the National Police College of Jamaica.
Lindsay also said that a national coordination unit for domestic violence has been established within the Community Safety and Security Branch (CSSB) that will capture data and interface with external partners.
“We are strengthening the existing processes and procedures for dealing with domestic violence and have instituted additional reporting and accountability measures. Each station commander is required to pay particular attention to domestic violence cases within their policing area and report daily to the DVI Liaison officer within the division so that these reports can be appropriately monitored,” she said.
According to the SSP, these additional accountability measures coupled with the expansion of the JCF's DVI centers should lead to more accessibility and better outcomes for those seeking help.
She noted that the DVI centres offer professional counseling, referrals to appropriate agencies, follow-ups with clients, and relevant updates and feedback. Counseling, the JCF said, is provided by certified volunteer counselors and chaplains who are trained in handling domestic violence matters.
“The police are therefore reminding citizens of the Domestic Violence Intervention (DVI) Centres that were established to deal with all cases of domestic disputes,” Lindsay said.
“The JCF understands that domestic violence can lead to violent crimes and early intervention is necessary to save lives and prevent injuries. Domestic violence affects both genders, and as such all reports will be treated with the highest level of professionalism, urgency, and respect,” she added.
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