Response to Domestic Violence Intervention Centres 'tremendous' — Security MinistryWednesday, June 09, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica— The Ministry of National Security says response to the Domestic Violence Intervention Centres (DVICs) established at police stations across the island, has been ''tremendous''.
According to a statement from the ministry, more than 1,000 people have made use of the DVIC at the Constant Spring Police Station facility through telephone conversations or in-person visits, since it opened in 2018.
Three additional centres were opened at the Matilda's Corner Police Station and the Yallahs and Morant Bay police stations in St Thomas. Another six are slated to be opened later this year in the parishes of St Ann, St Mary, Clarendon, Westmoreland, St Catherine and St Elizabeth.
“The feedback has been tremendous. It is evident that by even a simple follow-up phone call to persons seeking our assistance through this facility and finding out if they want further counselling or advice is hugely appreciated,” said Sergeant Dwight Thompson, one of the police officers associated with the programme at the Constant Spring Police Station.
The Sergeant said the DVIC programme has been working the way it was designed, adding that he believes the programme plays an important role in the daily lives of people who are facing domestic challenges, “as they feel a sense now that somebody is listening and that there are specific locations where they can go to acquire counselling and strong advice.”
Minister of National Security, Dr Horace Chang, in his contribution to the 2021/2022 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on Tuesday, May 25, said that over 300 police officers have been sensitized and trained to support the work of the Domestic Violence Intervention Centres.
“An entire cadre of police officers, who are sensitized and attuned to all forms of intimate partner and family violence and who are adequately prepared to take mitigating steps, will be added to the programme in the coming months,” Chang said.
He noted that the Jamaica Constabulary Force will be moving to institutionalise domestic violence sensitization of all police officers, starting with a “Train the Trainer” programme which will also be rolled out soon.
The minister said that the DVICs are ''pivotal in bridging the trust gap between the police and citizens and serve as a critical tool to treat violence resulting from domestic feuds.''