10 February 2014

On January 28-29, 2014,  an International Workshop "Responding to violence against women: the role of the police" took place in Minsk.

Experts studied best foreign experience of the police in addressing the problem of domestic violence. The trainers were Harald Hofmayer, representative of the Austrian Ministry of the Interior, and international expert Chris Barbour from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). The workshop participants - officers of the internal affairs agencies of Belarus and Moldova - shared national experience and discussed possible next steps jointly with the experts.

“This workshop is continuing the training activities for professionals, which we organized in 2013, says Volha Lukashkova, Projects Manager, Projects on domestic violence prevention and ensuring gender equality in the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).  “In Brest oblast, which is our pilot project region , four groups of professionals have been trained, to include police officers, medical professionals, social workers and education specialists. As part of the training, we aim to create a crosssectoral cooperation mechanism. This mechanism involves cooperation between all stakeholder institutions and is designed to ensure the safety of victims of domestic violence, as well as facilitate organization of the work with abusers that, in our opinion, will help to solve the problem in its entirety.

As noted by Police Affairs Officer Hana Snajdrova, Adviser on Combating Trafficking in Human Beings, Transnational Threats Department/ Strategic Police Matters Unit, OSCE Secretariat, the problem of domestic violence is a safety concern. In addressing this problem, it is necessary to consider that this phenomenon is based on gender discrimination.

“We hope that this workshop will help Belarusian experts to develop specific recommendations and steps for organization of work with domestic violence cases and facilitate understanding of their role in addressing gender issues, pointed out Hana Snajdrova.

The Workshop “Responding to violence against women: the role of the police was organized by UNFPA with the financial support of the OSCE in the framework of the international technical assistance project “Developing National Capacity to Counteract Domestic Violence in Belarus (2012 – 2015).