The attitude of Police officers when victims of sexual abuse come to report their cases was scrutinised during the first presentation at the first ever Police organized National Symposium on Sexual offences against Women and Children this morning at Studio 6.
The comment by Dr Nazhat Shameem shed light on what often discouraged victims from reporting crimes against them was due to the attitudes at the Police stations. Ã¢â‚¬Å“This are the barriers and is often an issue of drawing the lines between moral judgment and legal justice,Ã¢â‚¬Â she said. Dr Shameem said often the case was a police officer trying to point out where the victim was at fault or trying to see if a perpetrator was truly guilty of not.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“What we have to look at is whether a crime was committed or not, that is all, when other questions are put to the victim like trying to ascertain whether he or she was at fault can often discourage them to proceed with the case because they have already been traumatized.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ã¢â‚¬Å“All the officer should be concerned with is whether a crime has been committed or not and to gather the evidence for the courts.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Other presentations focused also on the changes that have occurred within the justice system to suit
WomenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Action for Change coordinator Penny Moore however took on a different stance of prevention rather than solutions.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“We cannot solve violence with violence which is why I am of the view that we should really look into why men are violent towards women and children or the other way round.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Moore says that through her experience of working with victims and offenders in the past 20 years was that those that commit violence were themselves violated at a young age and so on a sub conscious level sought either justice or felt they lacked justice.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“A man once told me that his mum beat him all his life so when he got married he was going beat his wife.Ã¢â‚¬Â The symposium continues with more presentations until this afternoon.