Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre Coordinator, Shamima Ali says one of the biggest challenges faced in relation to the reporting and dealing with gender based violence is the Fiji Police, and the centre is also concerned about some junior female officers in the force going through alleged sexual harassment.
While speaking on the increasing number of cases on technology facilitated gender based violence to fijivillage, Ali says Police have not allowed the Women’s Crisis Centre to conduct full gender violence based training for them in more than 10 years, and have instead gone to agencies like the United Nations.
Ali says women go through great difficulties in reporting gender based violence cases due to uninformed police officers.
She says she knows of cases of junior police officers allegedly sexually harassed by the male officers, and then the investigation and inquiry is done by the police itself, and nothing is done.
While responding to the issues raised, Acting Police Commissioner, Juki Fong Chew says he wants to reassure members of the public that when reports are received against police officers, the reports will be investigated like any other.
He says there is no special treatment, and the files will be sent to the DPPs Office for independent legal advice.
Chew says this has been done with both reports, with one cleared and the other pending advice.
The Acting Commissioner says as for gender sensitivity training, they also work with other NGOs, and regional law enforcement partners in covering both internal and external issues arising about the handling of gender based violence issues.
He also welcomes any form of training in regards to gender based violence if any offer is made to the Fiji Police from the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre.
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