How Women's Police Stations Prevent Gender Violence

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"Women’s Police Stations are unique innovations that emerged in Latin America in the second half of the 20th century to address violence against women. Variations of the model have since spread across other parts of the global south—in Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Peru, and Uruguay, and more recently in Sierra Leone, India, Ghana, Kosovo, Liberia, the Philippines, South Africa and Uganda (Jubb et al. 2010). Like traditional policing models they offer a 365-day emergency response service, employ uniformed armed officers, have the authority of the state, and the same powers. Unlike traditional policing models, officers work from a gender perspective and have additional specialist training in responding to gender violence. CMFs look nothing like a police station. Most are brightly painted converted houses with welcoming reception rooms designed to receive victims, not offenders and do not have holding cells. They employ multi-disciplinary teams of police, social workers, lawyers, psychologists and counsellors who work collaboratively with other organisations (such as local boards, local government, religious, educational, and community organisations). While CMFs provide tertiary and secondary interventions in response to discrete incidents of domestic and sexual violence, more uniquely they have a legislated mandate to engage in primary prevention at least once a month within their own communities."

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