Addressing Gender-Based Violence in Jersey
Addressing the issue of violence against women and girls in Jersey is a top concern for the police, as stated by a high-ranking officer. This declaration follows a study revealing that a significant majority of women have encountered some form of sexual harassment in their lives. Detective Inspector Huw Williams of the States of Jersey Police expressed that reading parts of the report was profoundly distressing.
The police are taking initial steps by boosting officer patrols in key areas and revising their internal procedures. The study, conducted by the Independent Taskforce for Violence Against Women and Girls, gathered insights from the public, youth, professionals, and victims. It found that almost every participant had faced sexual harassment, and one in four reported experiencing rape or an attempt at rape.
Mr. Williams, a member of the taskforce, noted that violence against women and girls constitutes nearly a quarter of all reported crimes on the island annually. He described the findings as both stark and revealing. He reflected on the desired safety and freedom from crime for women and girls in his life.
The police plan to increase their presence in areas identified as high-risk by the survey respondents. They also aim to improve their internal processes to uphold their ethical standards and build trust with victims, ensuring thorough investigations and legal follow-through. Mr. Williams emphasized the importance of accountability and the need to confront and challenge the culture that drives violence against women and girls, linking it to gender inequality.