Preventing and responding to domestic violence: Vietnamese police and legal officers learn more
Hanoi (Viet Nam), 6 June 2010 - UNODC and the Ministry of Public Security of Viet Nam organized a training session for law enforcement and justice sector officers on how to respond to cases of domestic violence more effectively. The session was held in Da Nang, Viet Nam, from 12 to 14 May.
The core group of participants was composed of police officers, as they are the first responders in domestic violence cases. However, prosecutors, court personnel and judicial officers, as well as members of the provincial Vietnamese Women's Union and People's Committee who are frequently involved in domestic violence cases at the local level, also attended.
The main objective of the training was to equip participants with practical information and know-how for dealing with and responding to domestic violence cases, focusing on response strategies and the criminal aspects of domestic violence. "The police are at the front line of the justice system and so it is important for them to respond to every report they receive on domestic violence promptly and seriously. This training emphasizes that all police action should be guided by two main principles: ensuring the safety of the victims and holding the perpetrators of violence to account for their actions", said Mr. Le Huu Anh, a lecturer at Viet Nam's People's Police Academy.
A highlight of the training was the session that focused on the link between gender equality and domestic violence. Ms. Eileen Skinnider, an international consultant on gender-based violence issues and one of the trainers, stated that "domestic violence is a complex issue, involving strong cultural traditions and beliefs concerning family and traditional gender roles". Participants enjoyed the high level of interaction during the training, which included case studies, poetry analysis and brainstorming sessions that were used to illustrate gender issues, as well as the causes and consequences of domestic violence in Viet Nam.
At the end of the course, a senior police officer said: "I now have a much better understanding of gender inequality as a root cause of domestic violence and of the psychological distress this causes the victims. The police should further enhance its skills to have a more effective and sensitive response to domestic violence cases".
In order to meet this request, UNODC will support an additional set of 12 provincial training sessions in the second half of 2010.