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Article of the Week: 05/07/12
Senior Superintendent Thatatsotlhe Nwokoro of the Botswana Police Service (BPS) was awarded at the Gender Justice and Local Government Summit in Johannesberg for her presentation on gender-based violence. The presentation covered how to deal with GBV at both personal and professional levels, and described BPS's efforts to deal with GBV incidents.
In terms of support at professional level, Nwokoro stated that BPS has come up with Critical Stress Debriefing, which debriefs police officers when they attend to horrific incidents that leave them severely traumatised. She said the programme offers coping mechanisms for post-traumatic stress disorder.
"The expectation is that police officers have to attend to cases irrespective of fears, challenges and anxieties," she said.Violent GBV incidents traumatise police officers, she added, explaining that psychological trauma is not measurable because some of the signs may be a sudden abuse of alcohol or excessive smoking.
"Traumatic incidents have significant power to overwhelm normal coping capacity," she said. She said the programme is achieving remarkable results, noting that the demand for Critical Debriefing Services has increased, with 65 debriefing sessions having been held in 2011.