GIS– 16 November 2016: A web-based computer system for registration of reported cases of domestic violence was launched this morning at the National Women Development Centre in Phoenix.
The Domestic Violence Information System (DOVIS) is being implemented on a pilot basis at four Family Support Bureaux, operating under the aegis of the Ministry of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare. The system will allow for data harmonisation, easier record keeping and faster retrieval of information on domestic violence issues. In a second phase, it will be extended to two additional Family Support Bureaux and to the Police Family Support Unit.
In her address at the launching ceremony, the Minister of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare, Mrs Marie-Aurore Perraud, said that the operationalisation of DOVIS will bring a small revolution in the way cases of domestic violence are recorded.
Recalling that abuses often happen behind closed doors, the Minister stressed the need for statistics and records which tell the stories of victims. “Each story can lead us a step further towards prevention,” she said. Statistical data on domestic violence for the formulation and evaluation of policies contribute to evaluate whether services provided to victims and perpetrators are satisfactory, and help to improve the response to domestic violence, she added.
According to Mrs Perraud, the new system will provide more information on the different forms of violence reported such as rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment, and cases of family, marital and legal problems, as well as on the background of victims and perpetrators. “This type of information,” she pointed out, “will help the Ministry plan targeted intervention, devise projects and programmes to combat domestic violence, and help to measure impact of initiatives implemented.”
The Minister also highlighted the function of DOVIS in the coordination and monitoring of the performance of staff. To that endeavour, a dedicated team will be posted at the Ministry’s to monitor cases registered under DOVIS at the Bureaux with a view to ensure that these cases are managed properly and that victims are given prompt assistance.
The e-service provided by the Ministry of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare where citizens can report cases of domestic violence online was also the focus of the speech of Mrs Perraud. She stated that the service has been reviewed to make it more user-friendly, and that all cases reported on e-service will be registered as potential case on DOVIS. “This will enable the Ministry to ensure that these reported cases are attended to, provided the information is adequate to enable the officers to intervene and provide assistance to the victims,” she said.
International Day Against Violence Against Women
The launch of DOVIS is part of activities organised to mark the International Day Against Violence Against Women, commemorated on 25 November annually. The theme chosen this year is Aret Violans Domestik - Stop domestic violence.
The activities kicked off with a press conference on Friday 11 November 2016 where it was announced that the Hotline 139 to report all cases of domestic violence is now toll free. Posters and stickers on the free service can already be seen in buses, hospitals, police stations, and other places.
A short film competition was launched on 14 November and the closing date is 21 November. Some 16 short films to be preselected will be viewed on the Mauritius Film Development Corporation Facebook page. The best film will be rewarded with cash prizes.
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