Second Domestic Violence Intervention Center Opened
January 31, 2019 –The Jamaica Constabulary Force has opened a second domestic violence intervention centre.
Based at the Matilda’s Corner Police Station in St. Andrew, the centre was declared officially open by the officer in charge of Area Four, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Devon Watkis and Deputy Director for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement at the United States (US) Embassy, Jamie Russell, in a ceremony on the station compound on Thursday, January 31.
In his address to the audience, ACP Watkis urged the centre’s management team to ensure members of the surrounding communities are aware of the services available to them through the domestic violence intervention centre.
“If you see the signs, don’t wait for the times. Come and seek help,” he charged.
Community Safety and Security Coordinator for Area Five, Inspector Jacqueline Dillon, told the gathering of Police officers and US embassy representatives that the inaugural centre, which operates from the Constant Spring Police Station compound, has dealt with over 250 cases since its inception in January last year. She recalled two notable instances, one in which an aggressor sought help for himself and another in which three children came to seek help for their mother.
“They are doing much better,” she said.
Dillon also outlined that the centres are managed by a Police Officer, but staffed by trained counsellors. She also stressed that the centre offers counselling to victims as well as perpetrators,
saying that the aim is to reduce the impact of domestic violence on families, communities and the wider society.
“Our senior officers in the JCF understand that domestic violence is one of those activities that can lead to major crimes; and so if we can do prevention at an early stage, then it costs less to do investigation,” she said.
The Domestic Violence Intervention Centres were established in partnership with the United States Embassy of Jamaica.