Police officers and health workers are usually the first recipients of sexual gender based violence (SGBV) survivors. Therefore as part of the additional activities under the project “Promoting Positive Socio-cultural Practices in the rural communities of Kisoro”, on 22nd February 2018 ACFODE carried out a one day refresher training in counseling techniques for police and health personnel at BAM hotel in Kisoro municipality. The training was facilitated by the district HIV/AIDS focal Mr. Mugisha Sison
A police officer shares his experience during the training
The refresher training aimed at enhancing the counseling skills of Police and Health Workers on sexual gender based violence (SGBV) in addition to strengthening the linkage between police and health workers in handling cases of SGBV
In attendance were 14 females and 26 male, participants who were taken through the concept of sexual Gender Based Violence (SGBV), its causes, effects and actions against SGBV. Some of these included places and or offices where victims report the cases, management of SGBV (including counseling tips and techniques for the survivors), prevention and control of SGBV, ways of becoming a better counselor and proper communication skills for counselors.
The participants, in an open discussion were able to share their experiences on the challenges faced in counseling survivors of SGBV and how they had managed to overcome. This enabled the facilitator to understand better experience and knowledge in regard to counseling SGBV survivors.
“Connivance by both parties especially on defilement cases is making the survivors of SGBV to suffer locally at the expense of their parents and some clan members” noted Mr. Kiirya Fredrick, a detective from Kisoro central police station.
He also added that the police in Kisoro lacked a counseling room for the SGBV survivors in all police posts in the district. It was noted that the current place where counseling takes place is at Kisoro central police station, moreover, the spot just reminds the survivors of their worst situations. “The environment is not conducive at all,” said Mr. Kiirya Fredrick.
At the end of the training the trained health workers expressed their sincere thanks to ACFODE for such refresher trainings adding that it was going to help them while counseling SGBV survivors and also filling the Police PF3 forms.
Participants pose for a group photo after the training
“I am very grateful for the knowledge gained today, I used to dread filling the PF3 forms because of fearing to transport myself to court to testify but now that I have known that court refunds transport for health workers who go there to testify I will be filling the forms very comfortably,” said one health worker during the training.