GIS - 13 July, 2018: A training programme on Victim Empowerment and Abuser Rehabilitation Policy (VEARP), a workplace initiative which aims at addressing the problem of Gender-Based Violence at the workplace, was launched yesterday at Voilà Hotel, Bagatelle in presence of the Minister of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare, Mrs. Roubina Jadoo-Jaunbocus.
In her address, the Minister highlighted that gender-based violence is one of the major social scourge that is perpetrated against a person’s will and is in fact a gross violation of human rights reflecting and reinforcing inequities between men and women. She deplored that it is sustained by a culture of silence and denial of seriousness of the consequences of abuse, resulting in female victims not reporting the cases.
She underlined that her Ministry has adopted a four-pronged approach to address gender-based violence, namely: intervention, prevention, rehabilitation and reintegration. On that score, she pointed out that the VEARP has been designed for both employees and employers to understand how the problem has a serious impact at the workplace.
Minister Jadoo-Jaunbocus further explained that the VEARP is considered as a workplace initiative, because when a woman is victim of gender-based violence, she is stressed and physically and psychologically traumatised. Due to consequent health problems, that person is also more often absent from work. She pointed out that the cost to the economy due to absenteeism (paid leave) because of intimate partner violence stands at Rs 242 million while the cost to the economy due to unpaid leaves stands at Rs 215 million yearly.
According to the Minister, ending gender-based violence will involve changing the cultural concepts of gender and empowering survivors to heal and break the cycle of violence. In addition to that, rehabilitating perpetrators of gender-based violence is imperative in order to stop them from engaging in such acts as well as change their behaviour.
The Victim Empowerment and Abuser Rehabilitation Policy
The VEARP targets the Human Resource Cadres, so that they, in turn, will be able to detect potential victims and perpetrators of gender-based violence who do not know whom to reach out for assistance. These Human Resource Cadres will be able to help victims and perpetrators by referring them to the Family Support Bureaux of the Ministry. Trainings are conducted with Human Resource Cadres of both public and private sector to sensitise employees and employers.
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