In a crucial step towards addressing the pervasive issue of sexual gender-based violence (SGBV) and promoting a more empathetic and effective justice system, mL has conducted specialized training on SGBV and STA. The Stress Trauma Sensitive Approach (STA) training, is designed to empower court officers with the skills and knowledge necessary to interact sensitively and compassionately with survivors of SGBV.
Sexual and Gender-based violence remains a significant challenge across Liberia, impacting countless women and girls. Survivors often face not only physical harm but also emotional and psychological trauma, leaving them in urgent need of support. Court officers, as integral players within the criminal justice system, play a vital role in addressing SGBV cases and ensuring justice prevails. However, they often lack the specialized training required to navigate the complex emotional landscape of survivors’ experiences, inadvertently contributing to their further traumatization.
The STA training aims to bridge this gap by providing court officers with comprehensive knowledge on trauma-informed care. The training covers areas such as self-care, understanding trauma’s effects on survivors, trauma-sensitive evidence collection techniques, and fostering a supportive environment throughout the legal process. By equipping court officers with these essential skills, mL aims to enhance their ability to provide a compassionate and effective response to survivors, ultimately contributing to a more just and caring society.
One of the core features of the STA training is its focus on continuous qualification. Recognizing the high turnover rate within the public sector, the training aims to not only enhance immediate support for survivors but also establish a culture of sustained competence within institutions responsible for responding to SGBV. This will lead to a more responsive and equitable system that genuinely supports survivors.
The training, which convened 15 court officers from Montserrado and Margibi counties, is guided by a participatory approach, group interactions, presentations, and evaluations are key components, ensuring a comprehensive and interactive learning experience for all participants.
medica Liberia, formerly medica Mondiale Liberia, is a non-governmental women’s rights organization working in Liberia.
The organization works with survivors of Gender-Based violence and provides a holistic stress and trauma-sensitive approach that incorporates health, legal, and psychosocial approaches based on feminist principles.
By: Aaron Ireland