POLICARE is a combination of two English words: “POLICE” and “CARES.” POLICARE is the Kenyan National Police Service’s (NPS) integrated response to Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV).
It is intended to serve as a multi-agency victim cantered “ONE STOP CENTER” service provider. Police, Forensic investigators, Health providers, Psychologists, DPP representative, a Magistrate on call, Medical-legal, Gender experts, Correctional personnel, and others will all be available under one roof.
The overall goal of POLICARE is to strengthen the capacity of the NPS to prevent and respond to SGBV cases by establishing a ONE STOP victim support center that incorporates the synergy of multiple agencies.
The United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women, issued in 1993, provided the first official definition of gender-based violence.
The term “sexual and gender-based violence” refers to any harmful act committed against one’s will that is based on socially ascribed (gender) differences in roles between males and females.
Acts inflicting physical, mental, or sexual harm or suffering, threats of such acts, coercion, and other deprivations of liberty, whether occurring in public or private life, are all included.
Sexual and gender-based violence does not only occur during times of national conflict.
It is also common in places where legal systems and institutions are in place. For decades, many different societies and legal systems, including Kenya, have grappled with the problem of SGBV.
POLICARE intends to make it easier for these victims to report sGBV incidences. Victim narratives, statements, documentaries, situational reports, and analysis show a plethora of unexplainable psycho-traumatic pain that victims have experienced.
Another common and underreported form of SGBV is intimate partner violence (IPV), which includes marital and spousal abuse, as well as incest due to cultural aspects and crime occurring within close relationships and family settings.
The POLICARE Concept is a significant step towards addressing, responding and managing SGBV in the country.