This 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence (GBV) is being commemorated in the Pacific by women’s crisis and support centres who continue to adapt and expand during challenging times such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
Women’s crisis and support centres in the North Pacific quickly adapted to COVID-19, with new or improved telephone counselling, expansion of services to outer islands, and other support services.
Read more about the incredible work of crisis centres in the North Pacific during COVID-19 and over the past decade, with a new booklet coming soon.
The ongoing adaptations are supported by Australia through the Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development (Pacific Women) program. Pacific Women supports these activities at: Women United Together Marshall Islands (WUTMI) in the Republic of Marshall Islands (RMI) and its Weto in Mour (A Place of Life): Violence Against Women and Girls Support Service (WIM); Chuuk Women’s Council (CWC) in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) and its Tongen Inepwineu Counseling Center (TICC), and the Kiribati Women and Children Support Centre (KWCSC).
In FSM, Australia supported the CWC’s Tongen Inepwineu Counseling Center (TICC) to:
- introduce a new 24-hour counselling line
- ensure its counsellors/caseworkers completed extensive Phone Counselling Training, developed and delivered by Pacific Women, in addition to follow-up Supervision Training.
- support an increase in referrals to the centre, by leading gender-based violence (GBV) training for local health workers and Family Champions who provide referrals to TICC
- ensure TICC was acknowledged as an ‘essential service’ needing to stay open and operate during the pandemic response.
In RMI, Australia supported the WUTMI’s Weto in Mour (WIM) service to:
- introduce a new phone counselling service
- ensure its counsellors/caseworkers completed extensive Phone Counselling Training, developed and delivered by Pacific Women, in addition to follow-up Supervision Training
- partner with Pacific Women to train police officers and other frontline workers who provide referrals to WIM
- ensure WIM was acknowledged as an ‘essential service’ needing to stay open and operate during the pandemic response
- open a second WIM centre on the island of Ebeye through funding support from other partners, and technical support from Pacific Women.
In Kiribati, Australia supported Kiribati Women and Children’s Support Centre (KWCSC) continue to:
- work with multiple partners to ensure counsellors/caseworkers have access to professional development and training including Supervision Training through Pacific Women
- expand its services through the pandemic, including the opening of a second KWCSC centre on the second most populated island in the country, Kiritimati Island, with funding and other support from partners, and technical support from Pacific Women.