GIS - 25 November 2014: The Advisory Committee on the Reinforcement of Framework for the Protection of Domestic Violence, set up by the Ministry of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare in March 2014, has submitted its report on 20 October and the recommendations will be submitted to the Cabinet soon.
The announcement was made this morning by the Minister of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare, Mrs Mireille Martin, at the launching of a Capacity Building Programme on ‘Devising strategies for perpetrators of domestic violence’ at La Canelle, Domaine Les Pailles. The training programme is organised in the context of the commemoration of the International Day Against Violence Against Women (IDAVAW) on 25 November each year.
In her address, Mrs Martin recalled that the main purpose of the Advisory Committee was to review the Protection from Domestic Violence Act to make it more responsive to the protection of victims as well as improving the framework catering for the rehabilitation and/or for the prosecution of perpetrators. It was also tasked to recommend new policy orientation and strengthen the role of major stakeholders involved in combating domestic violence.
The Minister also stated that the theme chosen to mark IDAVAW 2014 at the country level– Peace at home begins with you – highlights the threat that domestic violence poses to peace and harmony in society as it affects not only the victim but also the family structure, with lasting consequences on each and every member of the family. She underlined the need to adopt an attitude of zero tolerance vis-à-vis domestic violence, as the driver of positive change, for a society that respects all its members.
According to the Minister, a number of programmes has been developed in Mauritius under the Costed National Action Plan to End Gender-Based Violence, covering the period 2012-2015, in order to address domestic violence. She added that laws have been amended, measures initiated and capacity building and sensitisation programmes organised on a regular basis with a view to eliminate violence against women. These initiatives include, among others, launching in April 2013 of the Shared Faith Belief Programme to engage religious bodies in the fight against Gender-Based Violence, and enlistment of Human Resource Cadres of both public and private sectors in the Victim Empowerment and Abuser Rehabilitation Policy to facilitate the detection of existing victims and perpetrators.
“Domestic violence is not inevitable. It can be fought and neutralised when victims denounce perpetrators and when the perpetrators take their responsibility for their violent behaviour”, added Mrs Martin.
The Capacity Building Programme on ‘Devising strategies for perpetrators of domestic violence’ targeted representatives of public and private organisations, civil society as well as religious bodies and sociocultural organisations. Its objective was to provide a platform to stakeholders to discuss, reflect and devise strategies to better fight violence against women with a focus on the perpetrators.
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