Seminar for officers: investigating sex crimes

The International Center La Strada, with the support of Oxfam and in partnership with the General Police Inspectorate organized, on 4 November, the second activity of information support to intervention teams in cases of sexual violence. This time, the beneficiaries of the training were investigative officers.

This activity derives from the priorities of national authorities to ensure a systemic approach to sexual violence, in order to ensure an effective response of the relevant bodies.

According to Doina CAZACU, director of the Women Program, La Strada: “Now that Moldova has obtained the status of candidate country, it is important to know and apply the generally accepted standards and provisions for a professional and correct response to investigate the cases of sexual violence, in particular.”

The source noted that the investigators invited to this activity may consider themselves privileged, since in cases of sex crimes they will be able to call multidisciplinary teams directly for help, intervention and assistance.

The subject of sex crimes was addressed at the seminar from the perspective of several components, analyzed from general to particular.

Respectively, Daniela MISAIL-NICHITIN spoke to the public about the commission of acts of sexual violence and their prevalence in Moldova, focusing on the profile of perpetrators and victims, the impact and trauma produced by sexual violence on victims, consent and its interpretation.

Marin MAXIAN, trainer at the Professional Development Department, Stefan cel Mare Academy, Ministry of Internal Affairs, spoke about the response of law enforcement bodies in cases of sexual violence, in particular the competence and actions of the fact-finding body, communication with the victim, documentation of actions, myths about the documentation of sex crimes.

On the other hand, Grigore MOGA, who referred to the same topic, focused on the importance of investigation, myths referring to false statements, including those of the victim, as well as aspects of on-site research and interview techniques.   

The role of forensic expertise as evidence material was addressed by Andrei PĂDURE, dr. hab. in medicine, senior lecturer.

Towards the end, the participants of the seminar got acquainted with the intervention team of La Strada, whose work was explained by the psychologist Viorica PAPUC-POMANĂ. The purpose of this team is to contribute to a strengthened response in cases of sexual violence, according to a common conceptual framework for intervention.

The multidisciplinary approach to cases of sexual violence is necessary, given that the analysis of criminal cases concerning sex crimes shows an ineffective response by authorities.

Organizers hope that this training will help investigate and document cases through a complex approach. Close cooperation between police officers, psychology and medicine specialists and NGOs will help address cases from the perspective of risk assessment and of ensuring adequate protection and assistance for victims. The team approach will also increase victims’ trust in law enforcement and encourage reporting of sexual violence cases in order to bring perpetrators to justice. 

The event was organized in partnership with the General Police Inspectorate with the support of Oxfam GB as part of the project “Strengthening the national response of combating human trafficking and gender-based violence in Moldova in the context of the armed conflict in Ukraine”. 


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