The head of the Dubai Foundation for Women and Children yesterday appealed to the police to ensure victims of domestic violence and human trafficking were dealt with by female officers.
Afra al Basti made the call to Dubai Police at a two-day workshop aimed at giving officers the skills to spot and help victims of abuse, both women and children.
She said it was vital to have female officers present when victims were interviewed and called on the force to have more policewomen in place to do so.
“To have female officers is essential in the context of domestic abuse and human trafficking, because these women need to talk about very sensitive issues,” said Ms al Basti.
She said many female victims would be further traumatised by having to reveal details of abuse to a male officer, and that the fear of having to do so could even discourage them from seeking help in the first place.
This, said Ms al Basti, was especially true in UAE society where “women are not used to recounting details of their lives to men”.
Having female officers handle cases of domestic violence and human trafficking would encourage victims to contact the police more readily, Ms al Basti said.
She added that the environment within police stations themselves needed to appear less threatening, so victims seeking help would not be put off.