This week, Avon assembled the 18th Justice Institute on gender-based violence which took place in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The Justice Institute gathers the most influential leaders from the legal, prosecution, law enforcement and frontline support sectors with the aim of providing the tools for participants to identify, investigate and better prosecute gender-based violent crimes.
Funded by the Avon Foundation for Women, the event, held from 27 February to 1 March, is the first ever Justice Institute to take place in the UK.
“Belfast was identified as uniquely well-suited to benefit from a Justice Institute not only due to its unique history of conflict and the impact of this on intimate partner violence, but also due to its network of dedicated advocates working tirelessly to support survivors of violence,” said Christine Jaworsky, Director of Avon Foundation for Women.
Welcoming the Justice Institute to Belfast, Detective Superintendent Ryan Henderson from the PSNI, said: “Domestic abuse is real and present across Northern Ireland. We respond to an incident of domestic abuse every 18 minutes. Many of the incidents that we see daily are distressing, and often very complex, so it’s not something that we can change overnight. However, with the right steps in place we can collectively make a difference and help change the landscape. We are hopeful for positive change as a result of this week’s Justice Institute.”
Since 2014 17 Justice Institute events have taken place in 10 countries with high rates of domestic violence, including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, India, Mexico, Nepal, the Philippines, Romania and South Africa.