The Countess of Wessex yesterday visited Lilongwe Police Station Model Victim Support Unit (VSU) to appreciate what it is doing to combat violence against vulnerable people, including women and children.
The United Kingdom (UK), through the UK’s Justice for Vulnerable Groups Programme, gave the station financial assistance for the construction of the model VSU.
The funding was made through the Department for International Development (DfID) and Unicef.
DfID governance team leader Lucy Hayes said the delegation was impressed with the contribution the facility is making towards improving the child protection system to prevent and respond to violence, abuse, exploitation and neglect of women and children.
Said Hayes: “The unit is providing a number of services to victims of violence. We look to continue providing support to the Malawi Police Service.”
Unicef deputy representative Roisin De Burca said they are also building another unit in Mzuzu to cater for victims of abuse and violence in the Northern Region.
In a statement released in relation to the countess’ visit, head of DfID Malawi Jen Marshall said they were encouraged by the significant increase in women and children using the Malawi Police Victim Support Units, demonstrating the value of the service.
However, Marshall observed that violence remains endemic in Malawi and that there “is still too much cultural acceptance of this”.
The VSU coordinator Malango Mwasinga said the unit registers about 35 cases per day. But Masinga emphasised that the programme has led to major progress in addressing the needs of women and children affected by violence and abuse in Malawi.