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    22-Jul-2020

Women’s groups laud police chief’s pledge to rein in domestic violence

 

The Jordan Times

 

AMMAN — The civil society and UN agencies on Tuesday welcomed a recent pledge by the police chief and the government to exert all possible means to safeguard the well-being and safety of women and children in Jordan.
 
On Tuesday, Public Security Directorate (PSD) Director Maj. Gen. Hussein Hawatmeh issued urgent directives to restructure the Family Protection Department (FPD) and expand its powers and jurisdiction to provide protection for women and children who are victims of gender-based violence, according to a press release by Police Spokesperson Col. Amer Sartawi.
 
“Protecting human souls from harm and death regardless of any excuse is the base of the restructure of the FPD, which will also include reexamining all laws and legislation that govern the work of this department,” Hawatmeh stressed in the press release that was made available to The Jordan Times.
 
The FPD was established by the PSD in 1997 to investigate and address all crimes committed against women and children.
 
Hawatmeh also stressed the need to “reexamine all the procedures that are adopted by the FPD to protect women and children in Jordan”.
 
“We need to let go of the old methods that were used in dealing with victims of domestic violence and women whose lives are in danger, and instead adopt new measures that will ensure their safety and security,” Hawatmeh stressed.
 
The police chief called on all police officers “wherever they are to take cases of violence against women and children very seriously and not to hesitate in taking any measure that would ensure their safety and security”.
 
Hawatmeh’s statements came a few days after the death of a 40-year-old woman who was allegedly murdered by her 57-year-old father with a rock near her home in Ein Basha region for reasons related to “family honour”.
 
Musa Maaytah, Minister of Political and Parliamentary Affairs and Chair of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Women's Empowerment, said the government is “keen on adopting all measures that would safeguard the well-being of women and children".
 
"Prime Minister Omar Razzaz has already issued directives to all the relevant entities to adopt new measures that ensure the safety and security of women and children," Maaytah told The Jordan Times.
 
One of the steps, according to Maaytah was the announcement by the police chief on Tuesday to reconstruct the FPD.
 
"We are also in contact with women’s groups and have asked them to send us a list of demands and suggestions related to legislation, and other measures that could be adopted to improve the services for victims of gender-based violence," Maaytah added.
 
The Criminal Court prosecutor had charged the suspect in the Ein Basha murder case with premeditated murder on Saturday and issued a gag order the following day restricting the publication of any news related to the case.
 
National Council for Family Affairs Secretary General Mohammad Miqdadi welcomed and thanked the PSD for this “quick initiative”.
 
“I am hopeful that the health and social sectors would be as quick as the PSD to respond and improve their services and there would be more cooperation with civil NGOs who are also providing important services to victims of gender-based violence,” Miqdadi told The Jordan Times.
 
Meanwhile, Sisterhood Is Global Institute (SIGI) issued a statement welcoming the urgent directive of the police chief to begin restructuring the FPD.
 
“SIGI commends the rapid actions by the police chief, which will work to reduce violent crimes against women, girls and children by adopting the necessary measures to ensure that the proper procedures are adopted in such cases,” the SIGI statement said.
 
Meanwhile, the UN issued a statement on Tuesday stating that following the announcement by the PSD to expand the action of the FPD and the enhancement of procedures to protect women and children at risk of gender-based violence, “the UN’s system is committed to strengthening joint efforts to support these entities in this process”.
 
“The UN in Jordan is shocked and saddened at the violent killing of a woman near her home over the weekend, allegedly by her father…Violence against women and children is never acceptable nor impunity for these crimes is justifiable,” the UN statement said.
 
Gender-based violence in Jordan has increased, with helplines reporting a marked increase in calls, according to the statement. 
 
“The COVID-19 pandemic has forced entire communities inside to stay safe, but for some women and girls, it has worsened an already dangerous situation,” stated the UN statement.
 
The UN statement reiterated the global body’s support to the government of Jordan and the civil society in providing “safe referrals, services and justice to survivors of gender-based violence, and to scale up public awareness campaigns to eliminate violence in all forms from society”.
 
“Until every girl and woman in Jordan is safe from violence, there will be no progress towards realising the full human and economic development potential that is vital for the country’s recovery,” the UN statement said.
 
 

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