Afghan police provide shelter for domestic crime victims

Afghan women police officers have been contributing to bring peace to the lives of women and children who have made victim of domestic and other crimes in Family Response Units (FRUs).

“The FRU, as part of the Afghanistan National Police, deal with women and children of domestic violence … the FRUs offer a safe place for women to report abuse in hopes that it will change their lives and those of their children for a better future,” Resolute Support Senior Gender Advisor Australian Army Col. Bronwyn Wheeler said.

The NATO Resolute Support (RS) mission have planned to build Family Rehabilitation Units (FRU) in some Police Districts (PD) of capital Kabul for violence hit women and children.

Maj. Gen. Richard Kaiser, commanding general for Combined Security Transition Command – Afghanistan, and Lt. Gen. Janan Barekzai, first deputy minister of interior, visited PD 17 Family Response Unit’s temporary location, where women police officers have been trying to bring peace to the lives of women and children who are victims of domestic and other crimes.

“We help enable the Ministry of Interior efforts by providing the necessary funds and expertise when required. Our Afghan partners designated these two areas in Kabul as areas in particular need of services to help Afghan women and children. Any time we can provide assistance to those in need, it provides a special satisfaction,” Kaiser said.

The FRUs supported victims of domestic violence, sexual abuse, child marriage and other issues. Police officers at the FRU, many of whom are women, investigate these crimes and provide support to women and children who turn to them for help.

“We donated four re-locatable buildings for each site, and MOI-FD managed the connections and refurbishment of the buildings. The total cost of the project was 5-million Afghanis,” said Army Lt. Col. Aaron Gorges, deputy branch chief, CSTC-A Combined Joint Engineers.

The FRU has waiting areas, office space, medical and interview areas, and shower and bathroom facilities, offering a safe place for women to stay after reporting crimes.

Prior to temporary facilities, the PD-17 FRU operated in the same office with the Afghan criminal investigation department, making it impossible for police FRU to interview victims in private.

“The hope is that when fully established, these centers can serve as models to export to other cities in need, such as Jalalabad, Herat, Kandahar and others … ,” Kaiser said.

Plans are underway to build permanent FRUs throughout Kabul at PD-4, 8, 12, and 17. PD-17’s permanent FRU will be co-located with the new PD-17 police station. Resolute Support has constructed 41 FRUs and 93 Women’s Participation Program facilities across Afghanistan. 

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