Provide training and develop capacity

The capacity of the justice sector is not adequate to address the needs of women and girl survivors of violence in many countries. Basic knowledge on the forms of violence against women and their effect upon women and girls is lacking in many parts of the world. Addressing violence against women has long been a low priority of state governments, and this is reflected in the inadequate public budgets for systems designed for victims of violence and for training actors in the systems. Specialized courts which have expertise in gender-based violence should be widely available and should supplement the knowledge base of other courts. States should dedicate sufficient resources to court infrastructure, including computers, office equipment, and safe courtrooms.  States should establish, maintain, and update data collection systems on cases of violence to document the prevalence of violence, to keep track of repeat offenders so perpetrators may not avoid the consequences of re-offense, and, most importantly, so that the safety of women and girls is enhanced. Justice personnel, including court administrators, court clerks, bailiffs, and judges, referees, and magistrates at all court levels should receive regular and updated training not only on the laws but on all aspects of violence against women and girls and the issues faced by survivors. These trainings should be financed from state funding, involve women’s rights NGOs, and supported by comprehensive protocols and guides which promote victim safety and offender accountability.