JIS News

The Government is looking to build-out another six Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) Domestic Violence Intervention Centres (DVICs) islandwide by year-end.

These are slated to be established in Westmoreland, St. Elizabeth, St. Catherine, St. Ann, St. Mary and Clarendon.

Speaking with journalists on June 18, following a tour of one of two DVICs established in the Corporate Area, at the Matilda’s Corner Police Station, in St. Andrew,

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Security, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, said there are now 10 centres in operation.

The facility, one of the four established under phase one of the undertaking, was done in partnership with the United States Embassy in Jamaica.

Two of the other three are located in St. Thomas, with the other based at the Constant Spring police station in St. Andrew.

Dr. Chang advised that the six additional centres that will comprise phase two of the engagement, will be funded at a cost of approximately US$130,000 under the European Union (EU)-funded Spotlight Initiative, being implemented in Jamaica by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Country Office.

The Spotlight Initiative supports concrete measures to end violence against women and girls.

Prominence is given to prevention, protection and the provision of intervention services, alongside broader efforts to ensure women’s economic empowerment and participation in all aspects of society.

Dr. Chang said the centres will provide victims of domestic violence with access to counselling and other interventions.

He indicated that 105 cases were referred to DVICs in 2020 and 58 between January and May this year, noting that five of the latter were walk-ins.

Dr. Chang lamented that these heinous acts were being perpetrated by intimate partners and family members, “[which] are symptomatic of a more deep-rooted propensity for violence within our society.”

He said in order to equip the JCF to better assist victims, greater emphasis has been placed on training and sensitising its members in domestic abuse/intimate partner violence, and related issues.

Meanwhile, Police Commissioner, Major General Antony Anderson, who toured the Matilda’s Corner centre with Dr. Chang, said it is anticipated that at least one such facility will eventually be established in each Division.

He pointed out that volunteers are engaged to provide counselling services, noting some have pastoral backgrounds, while others are involved in social work.

The Commissioner indicated that these individuals are required to undergo a process of training and certification to equip them to operate at the centres.

“We just trained 18 managers of these centres to [come] ahead of the rollout. But training is done for anybody who’s going to work [at these centres],” Major General Anderson added.

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