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MONDAY 11 AUGUST 2014

Members of SAFENET received a week-long training program to introduce them to the standard operating procedures of the referral system, and help build their professional capacity to respond to the needs of their clients.

The workshop was the first of its kind to bring together members of SAFENET who are tasked with providing services and attending to the needs of people, mainly women and children, that face situations of violence in their lives.

The Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Women, Youth, Children and Family Affairs (MWYCFA), Ethel Sigimanu hailed the training as an important milestone in the history of SAFENET since members signed the Memorandum of Understanding early last year to work together in a systematic referral system.

Violence against women and girls is a real concern in this country. Every day in the news media you hear harrowing stories of women and children who suffer at the hands of abusers –often the offender is a close relative of the victim. The work of SAFENET is important to make sure these survivors of violence receive the care and healing that is needed,” she said.

A capacity diagnostics workshop that identified the gaps in the referral system was conducted in November last year. During this participatory workshop, the SAFENET members identified a number of priority areas that need to be addressed, including strengthening coordination within the system, building the capacity and improving communication skills of service providers, as well as training on burnout prevention.

Over thirty participants from the five SAFENET member organizations attended the capacity building workshop. The five organizations that comprise SAFENET include the Family Support Center, the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force, the Ministry of Health and Medical Services, the Christian Care Center, and the Public Solicitor’s Office.

The workshop was made possible with support from the World Bank through the Improving Services for Victims of Gender Based Violence project being implemented by MWYCFA. Under this project, MWYCFA recruited a Technical Assistant renowned for her work in the area of gender based violence in other parts of the world, including conflict affected states in Africa. The consultant Kathy Cusack has worked closely with the Gender Based Violence Program Coordinator, Nashley Vozoto, and members of SAFENET over the last four weeks to strengthen their response procedures and referral mechanisms. Ms Cusack delivered the inaugural ‘SAFENET Orientation & Training’ workshop from Monday 11th to Friday 15th August.

Ms Sigimanu encouraged participants of the workshop to “make use of this unique training opportunity to build your capacity, strengthen coordination and improve those services that can make a real difference to the lives of people who are living with fear in dangerous situations”.

Ends//.

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“Violence against women has been called ‘the most pervasive yet least recognized human rights abuse in the world’.”

- Najib Assifi, 2007

Director, Pacific Sub-Regional Office and UNFPA Representative

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