Eight Bahamian officials from the Royal Bahamas Police Force, the Bureau of Women’s Affairs, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Legal Affairs and the Ministry of Social Services participated in the Intervention Strategies for Domestic and Gender-based Violence course held at the International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) in San Salvador, El Salvador from March 24-28, 2014.
The delegation was sponsored by the US Embassy’s International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) Section as part of the US Embassy’s ongoing efforts to raise awareness and help eradicate violence against women.
The ILEA course, led by instructors from the government of Chile, was designed to teach law enforcement and support personnel how to prevent and respond to gender-based violence, and covered topics including: risk factors associated with domestic violence; the importance of risk assessment in the intervention in domestic violence cases; the framework of psycho-social and domestic violence against women; and legislation as a framework to combat domestic violence.
A total of 35 officials from the Bahamas, El Salvador, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, and Belize attended the course.
US Ambassador to El Salvador Mari Carmen Aponte opened the course and emphasised the important role of participating officials in curbing domestic violence, inviting them to confront the issue head on in their home countries.
Course participants unanimously agreed that they would take back the skills and techniques learned during the course to their colleagues at home.
Over the last year, the US Embassy has partnered with the Ministry of Social Services’ Bureau of Women’s Affairs, the Crisis Centre and the Zonta Club of Nassau to bring focused awareness to the impact of domestic violence on society and attention to the dangers of gender-based violence in the Bahamas.
Preventing and responding to violence against women through the concerted efforts of civil society, local governments, and the international community is a cornerstone of President Barack Obama’s commitment to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment.