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Commish calls on churches to help with domestic violence

Published:Thursday | August 24, 2017 | 12:00 AM
From right: Minister of National Security Robert Montague; Commissioner of Police George Quallo; Deputy Commissioner of Police Novelette Grant; and Dr Patrece Charles at the Domestic Violence Intervention Training Workshop certificate presentation ceremony on Tuesday, at the Andrews Memorial Seventh-day Adventist Church in St Andrew.

Police Commissioner George Quallo is calling on churches across the island to come on board and do their part to help reduce the crime and violence plaguing the island, offering whatever support they can to the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).

Addressing the Domestic Violence Intervention Training Workshop certificate presentation ceremony on Tuesday at the Andrews Memorial Seventh-day Adventist Church in Kingston, the commissioner expressed gratitude to Dr Patrece Charles, founder and chief executive officer of the Phoenix Counselling Centre, for their contribution to the initiative.

Over 200 chaplains and JCF-affiliated peer counsellors were presented with certificates after completing the Domestic Violence Training programme, where they received training on how to respond to both domestic violence perpetrators and victims, using provisions in the Domestic Violence Act, Offence Against Persons Act, Sexual Offences Act and Malicious Destruction of Property Act.

"All of us have a major role to play in this fight, and I am particularly pleased to see the number of volunteer chaplains who continuously make themselves available to treat with the problems of crime and violence in this country," said Quallo.


Inspire churches


One of the persons who were instrumental in organising the Domestic Violence Training Workshop, Deputy Commissioner Novelette Grant, endorsed Commissioner Quallo's appeal.

"By starting with this core group of about 200 pastors and peer councillors who are police officers, we are hoping to inspire and motivate other churches to come on board to increase the number of volunteers, as we need more persons to address the problem in its entirety," Grant stated.

Minister of National Security Robert Montague reiterated his commitment to crime prevention, noting that the JCF has been proactive in offering social intervention in its drive to reduce incidents of domestic violence, with the aim of better understanding the underlying problems and offering solutions for change.

"Over the last 12 months, the JCF has trained 400 police officers in domestic violence counselling, which should enable them to respond in a manner which will help to reduce conflicts before they become acts of violence. Every police station has a person assigned to assist with this issue and every division has a liaison officer," Montague said.