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Panama creates special gender violence police squad

Update: August, 03/2018 - 11:12

PANAMA CITY — Panama’s police service said on Thursday it has created a new unit dedicated to tackling violence against women across the country, which has recorded tens of thousands of cases of domestic violence in recent years.

The 200-officer squad is specially trained to respond "promptly" to gender-based crimes and to write up reports to avoid perpetrators escaping punishment through legal technicalities, said the deputy director of the national police, Jacinto Gomez.

The country’s National Women’s Institute (INAMU) said two years of training had gone into the program.

The head of INAMU, Liriola Leoteau, said the new squad will also provide protection for social workers who sometimes get assaulted when they try to assist women suffering gender violence.

According to Panama’s prosecutors, there have been more than 63,000 cases of domestic violence in the country recorded since 2015, most of them with women as the victim.

There have also been 72 cases of women being singled out for their gender and murdered over the same period, and 37 cases of attempted murder. — AFP

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