GIS - October 19, 2012: Around 24% of women have experienced some form of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) and 23% of men have admitted to being perpetrators of GBV. These are the main highlights of the draft GBV Indicators Report presented by Gender Links Mauritius at a validation workshop on Gender-Based Violence Indicators Project, held yesterday at the Gold Crest Hotel, Quatre Bornes.
At the launching ceremony, the Minister of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare, Mrs Mireille Martin, stated that the figures put forward by the draft report are ‘quite alarming’ and indicate clearly that if appropriate programmes targeting perpetrators are not devised, it will be difficult to end the cycle of violence.
Mrs Martin spoke of the 2010 study report on the Extent, Nature and Costs of Domestic Violence to the Mauritian Economy undertaken by her Ministry to systematically collect evidence on the magnitude of GBV at national level. According to the Minister, the study, covering the period 2008-2009, revealed that the burden of domestic violence in the Republic of Mauritius costed the economy some Rs 1.4 billion.
To address the situation, Minister Martin announced a Victim Empowerment and Abuser Rehabilitation Policy, which is under finalisation and aims at empowering the Human Resource Personnel of both the public and private sectors, through capacity building programmes, to detect cases of GBV and refer both victims and perpetrators to the Family Support Bureaux. She also recalled the launching of the National Platform to End Gender-Based Violence in October 2011 and the Costed National Action Plan to End Gender-Based Violence in November 2011, which act as roadmap to enhance coordination and encourage a multi-sectoral approach in integrating and mainstreaming actions to combat GBV. “I am convinced that the more stakeholders are empowered, the more support will be given to victims and more perpetrators will be rehabilitated, thus putting an end to a vicious cycle of violence”, she added.
The Minister stated that with regards to the importance of indicators to monitor the extent of GBV, a Domestic Violence Information System (DOVIS) is being set up at the ministry. The DOVIS will be a web-based computer system for registration of reported cases of domestic violence and will allow for data harmonisation, easier record keeping and faster retrieval of information on domestic violence issues. It will be used as a tool to monitor and assess record, as well as generate specific reports on such cases.
The objective of the validation workshop was to apprise stakeholders of the Gender-Based Violence indicators Project, a regional research study focusing on testing tools to measure and monitor the extent, effect, cost of and efforts to end violence against women. The workshop also aimed at enabling participants to take stock of the current situation regarding GBV in Mauritius in order to devise effective strategies and policies to combat GBV. The draft GBV Indicators Report was conceptualised by the Mauritius Research Council.