A media campaign with a video clip, advertisement, and artwork for posters and billboards will be launched on 25 November 2017 by the Ministry of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare in the context of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women 2017. The sixteen-day campaign aims to sensitise the population and raise awareness on the severity of the problem of domestic violence.
The Minister of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare, Mrs Fazila Jeewa-Daureeawoo, made this announcement on Thursday 9 November 2017 at a press conference at Labourdonnais Waterfront Hotel, Port Louis in the presence of the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Mario Nobin
She pointed out that several initiatives against domestic violence have been undertaken by her Ministry including the proclamation of the Protection from Domestic Violence (Amendment) Act. The Minister further stated that the Hotline 139, dedicated to domestic violence, is toll free and operational on 24 hrs basis. Three additional lines will be added so as to provide prompt and timely assistance to callers, she said.
She expressed satisfaction that for the first time in the budget, Rs 1 million has been allocated to support the economic empowerment of women who are victims of domestic violence. This allocation will help to train women victims to enable them be economically independent. Since May, the Ministry is also paying a capitation grant of Rs 400 for women victims of domestic violence living in shelters and Rs 341 for children in shelters, she added.
Furthermore, Minister Jeewa-Daureeawoo reiterated Government’s strong commitment to eliminate this social scourge through the implementation of several programmes, namely Premarital Counselling and Marriage Enrichment Programme, Victim Empowerment and Abuser Rehabilitation Policy, Integrated Support Service, and Perpetrators’ Rehabilitation Programme.
The Minister called on men to actively participate in these programmes and to help combating domestic violence, highlighting that Men as Caring Partners Programme was launched in October 2017 as a way to reach out to them and help them to better understand responsibilities in the family.
For his part, the Commissioner of Police stated that his department will collaborate with the Ministry to strengthen human resource capacity to deal with causes of domestic violence. On that score, five additional Police Family Protection Units namely in Goodlands, Triolet, Flacq, Bambous and Quatre Bornes will be set up to enable victims of domestic violence to have access to services in their area of residence.