Service providers’ manual to deal with gender violence


Mrs William-Melanie (right) addressing guests at Friday’s workshop

A review of the various guidelines and work procedures of all the service providers started on Friday at the International Conference Centre (ICCS) during a half-day workshop aimed at finalising a draft of the ‘Working Together Manual’. The workshop was organised by the Ministry of Social Development and Culture.

The aim of having such a manual is to allow for the various service providers to work in a more coordinated and effective manner so as to improve their partnership and commitment in order to meet the needs of survivors, perpetrators of violence and the families of survivors of gender violence.

A senior researcher of the department of social development, Tessa Siu said so far such a manual exists only for child abuse which clearly sets out the different procedures and laws for everyone handling the various aspects of child abuse.

She said the manual will fill the gap where it comes to dealing with adult violence and abuse. It forms part of planned activities under the national strategy on domestic violence as well as the National Plan of Action on Gender -based Violence.

Friday’s workshop was opened by social development principal secretary Linda William-Melanie in the presence of Social Development and Culture minister Bernard Shamlaye and representatives of different service providers.

Addressing those present, Mrs William-Melanie said gender violence is an escalating problem in Seychelles.

“We have spoken long and hard about domestic violence and child abuse in our small island homes and through the many years we have carried out different activities, developed comprehensive strategies and plans of action; but gender violence in all its forms continues to confound us. Our inability to grapple with the problem has led many to simply turn a blind eye or to give up in cynical defeat,” she said.

Mrs William-Melanie added that “without clear guidelines and procedures, the best practice of some, cannot be shared by the many. These difficult and complex cases require more than just good intention. Skill, understanding and an integrated response is paramount, to ensure each and every case is dealt with professionally, sensitively and holistically.”

She told those who took part in the discussions that “if what we begin to mould today can be used as a minimum set of standards to help guide professionals in the future to deal more effectively and sensitively with survivors of violence, then we would have managed to multiply our good intentions and knowledge.”

“We will need to work together to turn the tide of destruction that is washing over our nation,” she added.
Those present listened to two presentations on gender violence in Seychelles and the aims and objectives of the manual.
The situation of gender violence in Seychelles is considered to be serious and worrying with nine women and three men dead this year.

Having the expertise and experience of developing the manual for child protection, the department of social development is leading the process to compile the ‘Working Together Manual’ funded by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
The complete draft of the manual is expected to be validated early December to ready by the end of the year.

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