Author Topic: workshop trains police cadets to protect women  (Read 390 times)

Offline thaiga

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workshop trains police cadets to protect women
« on: June 17, 2012, 12:06:57 PM »
UN workshop trains police cadets to protect women

Tossaporn Wongwaikolayoot :uhm
The Nation

BANGKOK: -- Violence against women and girls has been a hidden issue for decades. Even today, the statistics on violence around the world are just loose estimates. The United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) estimates that one third of women around the world have experienced violence, more than 20 per cent of them at the hands of their partner.

In Thailand, it has been reported that 44 per cent of women have experienced physical or sexual violence at the hands of their partner. But precise numbers are hard to come by, as many women are still afraid to go to the police.

While a majority of victims tend to tell the truth and pursue justice when they have access to officials of the same gender, of the approximately 200,000 police officers working at 4,000 police stations nationwide, only about 20 per cent, or about 40,000, are women.

"Thailand still lacks female police officers. But we have been training female officers for four years. Now, we have about 70 female students each year who are expected to work to help end violence against women," said Pol LtGeneral Aree Aounchit, director of the Royal Police Cadet Academy.

As police officers are most victims' first point of contact with the justice system, UN Women East and Southeast Asia yesterday held a workshop on ending violence against women for 285 thirdyear Thai police cadets.

Of these, 80 students will be selected to join an intensive course for a further two days to deepen their understanding of related laws, female psychology and the root causes of violence against women.

"We hope that the training will mark a significant step in this effort and partnership," said Shoko Ishikawa, officer in charge at UN Women East and Southeast Asia.

The Thai justice system is still in the beginning stages of learning how to deal with sensitive cases such as these, with many women still afraid to report their cases to the police, she said, while a lack of understanding persists on the part of many officials.

"There're still some issues that Thailand needs to work on. The law itself is fine, with little need to amend it. But first we have to eliminate the idea that violence within the family is acceptable," Ishikawa said.

In a speech, she cited a statistic that more than seven in 10 women in rural Thailand believe there are circumstances in which it is justifiable for a man to beat his wife.

Aree said that even though the issue is already raised with cadets at the school, the workshop would increase their awareness and knowledge by exposing them to actual victims who are willing to share their stories. This would especially benefit female police cadets who are expected to work on women's cases, the academy director said.

A senior public prosecutor at the Office of the AttorneyGeneral, Saroj Nakbet, cited Royal Thai Police statistics showing that between April and September 2008, there were 18,191 cases of women being assaulted and 4,359 cases of rape reported to the police. But only about 200 cases proceeded through the justice system, creating potential for change in behaviour.

"Most of the victims are afraid that the situation will become more serious if they enter the [justice] process. This is a misunderstanding, as the police have the authority to protect women from violence. However, in many cases women are ashamed to bring family issues up in court," Saroj said.

According to a UN Women analysis, across 57 countries, crime surveys show that on average 10 per cent of women say they have experienced sexual assault, but of this group, only 11 per cent report the assault to police. In comparison, an average of 8 per cent of women report being a victim of robbery, but 38 per cent of victims report the crime.
Was there a test involved
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.