Though most males who are the victims of domestic violence have traditionally tended to shy away from reporting such incidents due to fear of stigmatisation, members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) are now said to be more adept at dealing with such cases.
The declaration was made by Police Commissioner, Major General Antony Anderson, while addressing the 2023 National Security Seminar at the AC Marriot in Kingston on Thursday.
The island’s top cop revealed that some 28 per cent of the reported victims of domestic violence last year were males.
He said the police who work at Domestic Violence Intervention Centres (DVICs) are able to address such cases, as they provide the conditions to facilitate such reporting.
The DVICs form part of the Government’s efforts to address gender-based violence, by strengthening the JCF’s ability to respond and provide support to victims and family members.
“Twenty-eight per cent of the victims of domestic violence were males, from our statistics,” Anderson disclosed.
“That’s another interesting thought, and it has meant that in our centres, they’ve become as adept at dealing with cases of males being subject to domestic violence as females,” the commissioner continued.
“This is actually quite a change in culture and understanding. One time, persons would have to hide that (males reporting domestic abuse).
“Now, we provide the conditions that people can report it and it can be taken care of from a counselling perspective, resolving some of the issues,” Anderson added.
He said it is important to the police to pivot towards intervening in domestic violence, “because… 16 per cent of our murders relate to interpersonal issues”.
Turning to the overall issue of domestic violence, Anderson stated: “It’s interesting that year-on-year you see the numbers going up”.
Continuing, he said: “This does not necessarily mean that the cases are going up.
“It could mean also, and seems to mean, at least part of it, is the confidence people have in reporting cases of domestic violence, and the introduction of centres… that people can go to when they have these issues,” the top law enforcer indicated.
This year’s seminar was held under the theme ‘Defending and Securing Jamaica’s Development – A Strategic, Security Analysis’.
It was organised by the Office of the National Security Advisor, which falls within the ambit of the Office of the Cabinet.