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National Statregy on Domestic Violence
As a sign of Government’s commitment to addressing the problem of domestic violence the President of the Republic announced in the 2007 State-of-the-Nation Address, a proposal for a Domestic Violence National Strategy. The Gender Secretariat has so far drafted a strategy framework which was thoroughly examined by a large group of stakeholders. Comments and recommendations were taken into consideration and the validated National Strategy has since gained Cabinet approval. The next step will be for the Gender Secretariat to offer technical assistance to stakeholders to facilitate implementation of the National Strategy through development of sectoral Action Plans, as well as put into action the Monitoring and Evaluation mechanism of the strategy.

The strategic objectives of the National Strategy are:

1) To strengthen and synthesise activities of multi-stakeholders for an integrated and efficient response to domestic violence
2) To reduce vulnerability of women and men to domestic violence, both victimisation and perpetration
3) To reduce impact of domestic violence on children and
4) To nurture an environment conducive to improved gender equality and equity

To achieve the objectives identified above the following proposals have been made as part of the National Strategy:

(i) Understand the extent, causes and consequences of domestic violence in Seychelles
Complete the in-depth analysis of national survey on domestic violence and undertake a more qualitative study of extreme cases of domestic violence to cross-validate findings of the main quantitative population based study.

(ii) Strengthen legislation and legislative structures on domestic violence
Explore feasibility of criminalising domestic violence and review existing laws covering domestic violence. As strongly recommended in the validation workshop, explore the feasibility of creating a specialist court under the Supreme Court, in order to create a fast-track system for these sensitive and urgent cases.

(iii) Strengthen Police response to domestic violence cases
Extend existing Family Squad Unit dealing with child abuse to include mandate on Domestic Violence to be staffed by capacitated specialist Police Officers and introduce the routine use of a Domestic Violence Record Book at the scene of the crime, for increased professionalism and standardisation of evidence collection for a stronger prosecution.

(iv) Enable an integrated and efficient response of multiple service providers to domestic violence
Conduct a situational analysis of current practices amongst multi-stakeholders and develop integrated national Operational Guidelines for each service provider based on findings. Build sustainable in-house training capacity of these sectors to capacitate staff on standard procedures for dealing with domestic violence cases.

(v) Monitor and evaluate implementation of National Strategy
Monitoring and Control System, to be implemented by multiple service providers and overseen by the Gender Secretariat for the first 5 years.

(vi) Advocate for integrated data management between multiple sectors
Advocate for improved network between multiple service providers dealing with domestic violence.

(vii) Risk management as short-term prevention strategy
Develop Risk Indicator Framework for Domestic Violence (both victimisation and perpetration) that will be integrated into the Operational Guidelines of all service providers.

(viii) Rehabilitation Perpetrators and Victims of domestic violence
Introduction of Rehabilitation Programme for Perpetrators and Victims of domestic violence, as short-term response, providing psychological therapy, counselling and conflict resolution skills training on either a voluntary or a mandatory basis.

(ix) Temporary protection and shelter of high-risk victims
Advocate for creation of Domestic Violence Victim’s Shelter as short-term response to urgent cases (esp. while investigations are being conducted).

(x) Overlap of risk management between intimate partner violence and child abuse
Ensure that the Risk Indicator Framework for Children is integrated into Domestic Violence Risk Indicator Framework, and vice versa.

(xi) Public education campaigns as Long-term prevention strategy
Public education campaigns targeting male/female aggressors, victims, children and youth, and the wider community.

(xii) Advocate revision of SBC’s policy on violence
Revise programmes aired before watershed for violent and sexual content.