KIT staff training with KWCSC highlights safety and support in responding to reports of sexual and gender based violence


Photo caption: Kiribati Institute of Technology trainers and Student Support Services staff with Kiribati Women and Children’s Support Centre staff, who participated in the delivery of the Sexual and Gender Based Violence training.

Kiribati Institute of Technology (KIT) and the Kiribati Women and Children’s Support Centre (KWCSC) signed an MOU to provide counselling support and referral for female students experiencing sexual and gender based violence in November 2020.

The Australian Government has supported the partnership initiative and training programs with specialist advisors, resources and staff working with the Kiribati Facility delivered through KIT. Local staff at KIT have been central throughout the development of these gender based initiatives to ensure the delivery of any program remains relevant to the I-Kiribati context.

“It will be very helpful for our staff to know the legal rights of women as well as having the knowledge of how to offer support to a vulnerable female in class/on campus when needed. This training can also bring men into the picture of respecting the legal rights of women where they can also be very helpful sources to survivors in times of need,” said KIT Inclusion and Equity Officer, Meere Maere, who has worked with the partnership team to develop this training.

On 14th April 2021, the Director of KWCSC, Teretia Tokam, delivered a training workshop for all KIT staff at the KIT maneaba as a part of the MOU commitment. The presentation included information about the referral pathway and supporting information about sexual and gender based violence.

“The significance of this training to KIT staff is to ensure that they understand more about the nature of sexual and gender based violence and ways to assist the survivor when she needs immediate support. Gender based violence is a sensitive matter in Kiribati where, in most cases, members of the society are reluctant to assist a woman. I am grateful that after this session, KIT staff will be equipped with more information about the referral pathway and the service providers that are available to provide support 24/7, such as KWCSC,” said Director of KWCSC, Teretia Tokam.

The training informed staff of the various forms of sexual and gender based violence and how to respond when someone discloses they are experiencing any form of violence. The training was delivered in English but examples of the types of physical, sexual, emotional and economic abuse that can occur were provided in Kiribati also and included a hypothetical local case study as an example for staff to respond to in the workshop.

KIT staff learnt the key principles of providing a survivor centred approach to sexual and gender based violence disclosure and how to assist survivors through referral to crisis, emergency and support services. The training covered safety, respect, confidentiality, non-discrimination and empathy in response to a victim’s report.

The referral process to KWCSC is treated as highly confidential to protect survivors of sexual and gender based violence.

The professional partnership between KIT and KWCSC will benefit the students but also the broader I-Kiribati community as people are made aware of the support that is available to them. It serves as a reminder of women’s equality at home, out in the community and in the workplace, and highlights the message that victim’s voices matter.

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