UN Viet Nam works to develop domestic violence prevention training module for Vietnamese police

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shutterstock 90906926Ha Noi, 16 May 2012 - One third of married women in Viet Nam have suffered domestic violence, according to a national study by the General Statistics Office of Viet Nam and United Nations. Recognizing that police officers are in the frontline in the justice system's battle to prevent and protect against domestic violence, UNODC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime) and Vietnamese experts are developing a domestic violence prevention training module for police to be taught at the national People Police Academy of Viet Nam.

"Teaching about domestic violence at police training institutions is an important step to protecting victims effectively,” says Mark Lalonde, an international police training expert who supported the development of the UNODC Handbook on effective police response to violence against women. "A strong response to violence against women is a sign of a strong country, one that respects the rights of its citizens to live a life free of violence."

Over four days in April, UNODC trained 20 Police Academy lecturers’ and professors on how to teach the new domestic violence module. The workshop objective was both to learn about violence against women in the home and to improve police academy teaching skills.

"Viet Nam is developing fast and with this growth, the prevention of crime and the demands on the police will become more complex", said Mr. Lalonde. "Teachers need to be equipped with the newest training methodologies to ensure that future police officers are fully capable of tackling new challenges."

Police officers are in the frontline of the fight to prevent domestic violence against women. Often the first state responders to incidents of violence, police have a legal responsibility to protect the rights of women and girls, to ensure the safety of victims, and to facilitate justice for survivors. They are also role models. By acting against violence against women, police send an important message to society that this behaviour is not acceptable.

"Domestic violence has devastating effects on victims, families and society. The abused women have much to suffer and it is a priority of the Ministry of Public Security to enforce the laws on domestic violence," says Ms. Nhu Thi Minh Nguyet, Head of the Women's Union of the General Department of Anti-Crime Police and Vice Director of the Political and Logistical Department.

The United Nations in Viet Nam is working together to help establish one national response to domestic violence and translate the national laws and legislation into action. This will help ensure that all victims have access to quality health care, safety and protection services, including the availability of a minimum intervention package for all victims of gender-based violence.