Jordan has taken many measures over the past two decades to protect women and children and prevent domestic violence and physical and sexual abuse. One such measure was the establishment of the Family Protection Department in 1998. The department receives complaints directly from victims or their parents via the toll-free telephone number 911 or by email or a special form on the department’s website. They also receive reports through police stations, other governmental institutions, and non-governmental organizations.
Once complaints are received, specially trained officers conduct recorded interviews with victims that can be used later to present the case in court. Victims undergo medical examinations by specialists from the National Institute for Forensic Medicine. In order to spare victims further emotional distress, the medical examinations are carried out in the department itself rather than in a hospital, unless the victim needs further medical assistance and care. Psychological follow-ups are available for some victims. The department, in cooperation with the Ministry of Social Development and the Jordan River Foundation, makes visits to follow up on certain cases, and some cases are transferred to social-support centres.
In 2001 the National Council for Family Affairs was established as a national-policy think tank and as a monitoring and advocacy body for family issues. In late 2008, the Public Security Director established a regional training centre to provide training on family protection.
Hani Jahshan, an international expert in combating violence, said that 2,137 cases of sexual abuse and domestic violence were seen at the National Institute for Forensic Medicine in 2010. 36 percent of these cases were of women who were physically assaulted by their husbands, brothers, or sons, while 57 percent were of children who suffered physical abuse, sexual harassment, or neglect.
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