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Domestic violence not just a social issue but criminal

Radio & TV Tonga, Nuku’alofa, 29/03/2019

The Police Commissioner – Stephen Caldwell with Australia’s high commissioner to Tonga – H.E Adrian Morrison recently opened a new renovated Domestic Violence Unit and Victim Support Friendly space at the Central Police Station.

Also in attendance was the Acting N Z High Commissioner to Tonga – Elena Procuta.

During the program His Excellency Mr Adrian Morrison said, Domestic Violence is not just a social issue, Domestic Violence is a criminal issue. He said Those who use violence against family members or partners need to face legal consequences for their actions.

He added they hope the office will encourage and reassure the victims of family violence that they can report to police with dignity and in privacy, they also hope this in some small way will let the survivors of family violence know that they are not alone, and that help is available.

He concluded – that there’s hope one day this office is no longer necessary.

Commissioner Caldwell reiterated the importance of this new space for the Domestic Violence Unit. He said, these rooms together with the work of his officers represent the commitment that Tonga Police have to improve their response to victims and survivors of family and domestic violence.

For a building on its own will not change the experience of those seeking access to justice, it requires change at many different levels.

He acknowledged all the people involved in the fight against Domestic Violence and describes them as the backbone of support to victims of Domestic Violence.

The Unit is now staffed by 3 dedicated police officers and 2 investigators concentrating on Domestic Violence assaults and they now work from the newly renovated office space at Central Police Station.

© Radio and Television Tonga News