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By: Olusegun Ogundeji.
In order to further train the Officers and men of the Nigeria Police Force to be well grounded in health response, HIV post exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) and sexual assault as it concerns Gender based violence Survivors, the United Nations Population Fund in its second day of training for Police Officers on how to effectively respond to GBV Survivors has highlighted the importance of Psychological evaluation and first aiding skills for officers who come in contact with GBV Survivors on a daily basis.
While speaking on the provision of Psycho-social support for GBV survivors, Dr Blessing Ntamu during her lecture stated that safety, freedom of expression and knowing what comes next amongst other things are the basic needs of a survivor.
Dr Ntamu also said officers should ensure they study and understand the Emotional, physical and Psychological state of their GBV in order for them to deliver quality service.
In a strategic session with the officers, Dr Juliet Ubom revealed that Police as first responders must communicate at optimal level, respect the and ensure safety and confidentiality of the survivors while remembering that non discrimination is very important.
Dr Ubom noted that a survivor centered approach that creates a supportive environment for the survivors to feel safe and respected must be ensured.
While elucidating on international laws on GBV and the Violence against persons prohibition act, Barr. Blessing Egwu enlightened the Officers on the provisions of the act and its application to GBV cases.
On mental health support for GBV survivors, Dr Elsie Okorie emphasized on the need for further psycho-evaluatuin of any GBV survivor after he or she has being given the first treatment. She added that the evaluation must begin from the first moment the Police officer starts a conversation with the survivor.
Kicking off the last day of the training Mrs Helen Kanu enumerated the guiding principles for handling cases of GBV as a police officer stating that analytical thinking, documentation, decision making, dialogue, refusal skills, emotional intelligence and effective communication are required for response to gender based Violence.
Mrs Kanu added that while striving to break the silence on GBV a functional criminal justice system is necessary in ensuring that victims of GBV are able to access justice by seeking their best interest and conducting all investigations in a manner that respects the rights and needs of the survivors without adding to their existing problems.
Speaking on GBV data management and information, Mr Lanre Alabi emphasized the importance of properly documenting incidents with the use of the gender based Violence case information management system (GBVCIMS)
The Commissioner of Police, Cross River Command, CP Aminu Alhassan, charged the trainees to do the right thing and exercise what they have learnt while advising them to pass on the knowledge to their fellow officers.
While thanking the UNFPA team, the CP assured them that more trainings will be done for another batch subsequently to further spread awareness on how Officers of the Nigeria Police Force in Cross River should handle Gender based violence cases in the state.
Speaking earlier, the Deputy Commissioner of Police, State Criminal Investigation Department, DCP. David Iloyanomon, reemphasized that the training was carried out to basically improve the service delivery of the officers who participated. He also appreciated the office of Commissioner of police for  his pro – activeness in ensuring that the training took place and the UNFPA for organizing such a wonderful package for the attendees
The Monitoring and Evaluation expert, Lanre Alabi while giving closing remarks on behalf of the Officer in charge UNFPA, Yakubu Aliyu, praised the Officers who participated in the training for their zeal and attentiveness while appreciating the leadership of the Nigeria Police Force, Cross River Command for collaborating with the UNFPA to improve service delivery.
Mrs Helen Kanu while coordinating the action plan session asked the participants what they would do about what they have learnt as they get back to their stations and some of the officers responded positively stating that they
Alabi who also spoke with newsmen said that one of the core mandate of the UNFPA is to stop every form of gender based violence or reduce it to the barest minimum through effective collaboration with all stakeholder’s concerned.

Amawu Cletus Albert Amawu

I'm a Journalist, Host/Producer of The Verdict, your voice of conscience on FAD FM 93.1, Calabar, Public Affairs Commentator, Social Change Agent.

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