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Viet Nam establishes Rapid Response Forces against domestic violence

Ben Tre (Viet Nam), 5 January 2015
- The Ministry of Public Security and local authorities in collaboration withVietnam Women's Union has established 17 domestic violence rapid response teams (DVRRT) in 17 communes in Ben Tre province, Vietnam with UNODC's support.

It is not so long since domestic violence against women was seen as a private matter. According to the National Study on Domestic Violence Against Women in Viet Nam, more than half (58%) of Vietnamese women reported experiencing at least one type of domestic violence at some point in their lives. Most of victims (87%) did not seek help from public services.

The rapid response teams, made up of police officers, Women's Union leaders and volunteers , not only provide immediate support and options to the victims of domestic violence , but also encourage the prosecutiion of the perpetrator, helping to build up a zero tolerance culture towards gender based violence in the community.

"This is the first time we have established the domestic violence rapid reaction forces in Vietnam. With core members from the local police, the113 emergency police, local Women's Union and social workers, this aims to deal better with cases of domestic violence and to increase cooperation and linkage among relevant organisations." - said Lieutenant General Nguyen Van Ba, Vice Director General, Anti Crime Police General Department, Ministry of Public Security.

Before officially launching the DVRRTs, core members of the teams had been equipped with knowledge of gender issues, gender equality , the legal framework for domestic violence prevention and control and had practiced gender sensitive skills to deal with domestic violence cases in a 3-day training course organized by UNODC. "Violence against women is not each family's own problem, it's a social problem shared by all people in our community. We hope that the teams, with their knowledge and skills gained from the training, will be the active key actors in coping with with domestic violence in the community." - addedLieutenant General Nguyen Van Ba.This event marked the fruitful results achieved under the project VNMT28 " Strengthening capacity of law enforcement and justice sectors to prevent and respond to domestic violence in Viet Nam"- an important cooperation between UNODC and Ministry of Public Security towards the development of a criminal justice system effectly protecting rights of the disadvantaged groups, with focus on women and children in contact with law. This is also one of the key activities in UNODC's country programme 2012-2017 aimed at enhancing the criminal justice system response to vulnerable and disadvantaged groups in Viet Nam.