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  • The San Juan Daily Star

Municipal police officers to receive gender violence training

Acting Women’s Advocate Madeline Bermúdez

By The Star Staff

Acting Women’s Advocate Madeline Bermúdez announced on Monday the beginning of a series of workshops for municipal police officers to educate them to understand the complexity of gender violence and to identify and handle domestic violence cases sensitively and efficiently.

“These workshops are essential because they provide police officers with the necessary tools to understand the complexity of gender violence and guarantee women’s rights, preventing the surviving victim and her family members from being doubly punished by the system,” Bermúdez said in a written statement. “Equally important is that it has a prevention component by addressing preconceived ideas and stereotypes that negatively impact the attention and management of situations of violence against women in all its manifestations and contexts.”

Bermúdez noted that the training cycle, entitled “Biopsychosocial Factors for the Implementation of the Protocol for Attending to Femicides and Transfeminicides in Puerto Rico,” is focused on sensitizing agents on the impact of all manifestations of gender violence. The workshops seek that agents understand femicide and transfeminicide as part of gender violence and know the elements that characterize those crimes, both in their occurrence and interpretation.

Likewise, the aim is to present an investigation protocol to solve the different types of femicides and transfeminicides in their various contexts. In addition, it is intended that municipal law enforcement personnel understand how sociocultural factors make gender violence invisible. Those factors, in their interaction with the different elements of the investigation, result in a high level of impunity for such crimes.

Municipal police officers from the island will participate in the virtual workshops. They will also be trained in the Protocol for the Investigation of Violent Deaths of Women and Trans People for Gender Reasons, which must be used in the investigation of femicides and transfeminicides in Puerto Rico.

Bermúdez said the initiative is per Law 59 - 2020, known as the Law to Create the Education and Training Program for the Prevention and Management of Domestic Violence for all municipal police officers assigned to the Women’s Advocate Office (OPM by its Spanish initials).

Since the creation of the law, OPM has reached 1,082 municipal police officers and support personnel in municipal barracks through training aimed at biopsychosocial aspects, prevention of domestic violence, and burnout syndrome.

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