PESHAWAR: The social welfare, special education and women empowerment department has signed an MoU with the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa police to ensure complainants visiting police stations are provided immediate assistance and relief.
The agreement was signed during a ceremony at Central Police Office in the city on Tuesday.
As per the MoU, any complainant visiting police stations will be entitled to immediate relief in accordance with Police Order 2002. Under this law, police officials are expected to “aid individuals in danger of physical harm, especially women and children”.
The initiative will begin as a six-month pilot project. If it is successful, the K-P police will implement it across the province. Aitbaar – a four-year programme funded by USAID – will provide technical assistance for the project.
In a first
Speaking on the occasion, Aitbaar Spokesperson Ali Khan said K-P will be the first province to introduce support services for victims.
“This will instil a sense of security among the vulnerable segments of our society,” he said. “We have previously trained police officials on how to provide psychosocial first-aid and effectively deal with complainants who are suffering from psychological trauma after they fall victim to a crime.”
According to Ali, victims of violence require attention from the police, health officials, lawyers and society at large,” said Ali. “Rehabilitation and integration are equally important.”
On the agenda
Four qualified psychologists will be hired through technical assistance from Aitbaar to work under the capacity of victim support officers. These officers will assist policewomen in speaking to victims of gender-based violence. Subsequently, a helpline will be introduced within existing police assistance services to address complaints.
According to the agreement, support officers will provide victims with immediate psychological services and refer them to other services and platforms available for them.
The project will also make use of a multi-agency approach and collaborate with multiple government departments and private companies. Police officials will be responsible for all security arrangements for psychologists and support officers at police stations.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 4th, 2015.