UNODC strengthening of police responses to gender-based violence in Mexico proven to have strong positive impact

July 2020 - The UNODC Liaison and Partnership Office in Mexico, with the support of the Embassy of the United States of America in Mexico and within the framework of the global project CRIMJUST, began the implementation of the Program for Strengthening the Security of Groups in Situations of Vulnerability in 2016, which to date has trained more than 10,000police officers and first responders, in 25 states and 20 municipalities of Mexico.

The Program aims to strengthen the emergency response of the police and immediate response centers in matters of gender-based violence, and thus improve coordination with the Women's Justice Centers, promoting a comprehensive response and appropriate referral of victims.

An impact assessment of the program showed an average improvement of 28.14% among UNODC-trained police officers in their skills in dealing with women victims of gender violence compared to police officers who do not take our training.  A total of of 1,816 law enforcement officers were surveyed, including a control group of 716 untrained officers and 1,100 trained officers. The total improvement of police responses to gender-based violence was calculated based on the results on the key indices that operationalize the project's objective:

  1. communication skills and closeness to citizens – 4% improvement;
  2. attention, reaction and channeling of victims – 16.54% improvement;
  3. awareness of gender violence – 8.6% improvement; and
  4. police skills in dealing with gender violence (aggregate of above 3 indices) – improvement of 28.14%.

In summary, the conclusions drawn from the results are as follows:

  1. The continuous training of police officers contributes to generate closer ties with the public and increases their perception of trust.
  2. Officers who are trained by the Program better identify biases and stereotypes when interviewing a victim.
  3. The agents who are trained detect the types and modalities of gender-based violence and know better how and to where a woman victim should be referred.
  4. The police officers who attend the training are more likely to disagree with statements such as "women are to blame for being in a violent relationship" or "it is necessary to observe whether a woman has consumed alcohol or drugs when reporting sexual violence”.

UNODC offers specialized assistance in strengthening crime prevention and criminal justice system responses to violence against women. The Office is currently assisting 18 countries, providing legislative and policy support and developing the capacity of criminal justice systems to more effectively prevent, investigate, prosecute and punish related crimes, to provide access to legal aid and to empower and protect victims, survivors and witnesses.

CRIMJUST is funded by the European Union under the framework of the "Global Illicit Flows Programme (GIFP)" and by the US Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL). It seeks to enhance law enforcement and judicial counter-narcotic strategies beyond interdiction activities and to foster transnational responses targeting each stage of the drug supply chain.

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