ASP Claire Guy-Alleyne, head of the Gender-Based Violence Unit said that the unit has already received reports of gender-based violence, although the unit was launched only a few days ago.
She confirmed that the organization is already working on cases. She said the people who work for the unit have been trained and sent to each of the nine policing stations across the country. Alleyne-Guy said sensitivity training has been provided for officers who operate outside of the unit and added that any officer who fails to handle these reports with sensitivity and seriousness will be punished.
She said, “The men and women of this unit were specially trained in how to deal with domestic violence victims. We are trained to listen to them, counsel them, and advise them. We take them through the entire process—from reporting their situation, to the court stage.”
Men will also be able to make their reports and have them taken seriously. “No longer should persons be ashamed to come to the police officers,” Guy-Alleyne said.
The unit has made the process to report gender-based violence easy and stress free. Victims will not have to come to the police station to make a report. She said, “What we are trying to do is reduce the need for them to have to come in to a police station, because that in itself could be traumatic.”
Person wanting to make a report can through the TTPS App or by calling 999. An officer from the Gender-Based Violence Unit will then take the report and visit the victim. A meeting will then be set up between the victim and the representative from the Unit at a location that is safe for the victim.
Other organizations such as the Victim and Witness Support Unit of the TTPS, the Coalition Advocating for Inclusion of Sexual Orientation (CAISO) and the Coalition Against Domestic Violence will become involved if the victim needs more support.
On Saturday at 10:00a.m in Woodford Square, a special memorial will take place for persons who have been killed as a result of domestic violence.