Victim Friendly Unit
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The Victim Friendly Unit was established in 1996 primarily to proactively and reactively police crimes of sexual nature committed against women and children in a manner sensitive to the victim. The Unit aims to be supportive of victims and to make the environment conducive, private and friendly. It further aims to be empathetic, meticulous, professional, expeditious, and maintain confidentiality when handling victims of sexual abuse. Protection of victims who have suffered or who are at the risk of suffering serious harm and ensuring that all reasonable efforts are made to safely maintain children in their own homes once abuse or neglect has been discovered or disclosed is one of its aims.
The Unit has also joined hands with other stakeholders in the multi-sectoral management of child abuse. Various methods of giving information on abuse whilst remaining anonymous like suggestion boxes and hotlines are also being marketed. In addition, victims are encouraged to report their cases direct to Victim Friendly Unit Coordinators who are found at each and every station.
Victim Friendly Unit Co-coordinators are trained to deal with victims in a professional, private and confidential manner. The issue of respect is highly regarded. The Victim Friendly Unit offers counselling to victims of sexual abuse in conjunction with its other partners in the multi-sectoral approach.
The Victim Friendly Unit is a source of hope for vulnerable victims who for decades have been prohibited by social attitudes, insensitivity and lack of professional handling on the part of the police.
Since the establishment of the Unit, a remarkable increase has been realized in the reported number of cases of sexual abuse. This is attributable to the fact that members of the public have generally been conscientised and now discern what constitute an abuse and also another reason is that of the availability of good reporting system and the sensitivity of those receiving the reports.