Spotlight supports establishment of One-Stop Centre for sexually abused victims in Clarendon

February 1, 2024

On the left, Head of CISOCA, which administers the One Stop Centre, is Senior Superintendent of Police, (SSP) Maldria Jones and colleague in the child friendly room at the Centre in Denbigh, Clarendon.

UNDP MCO in Jamaica


Clarendon now has a One Stop Victim Centre to serve survivors of sexual abuse, thanks to financial and technical support from the European Union (EU)-United Nations (UN) Spotlight Initiative.

The facility is run by the Jamaica Constabulary Force’s (JCF) Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA) on the Denbigh grounds in the parish capital, May Pen. Spaces include offices for victim and witness reporting; medical examinations; social services from the Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA) and the Victim Services Division (VSD); as well as child-friendly spaces.

Construction was implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Multi Country Office in Jamaica in partnership with the JCF, with child friendly games and equipment provided by UNICEF, and training in gender-based violence response by UNFPA.

At the official opening and ribbon cutting on 12 December, Minister of National Security Dr the Honourable Horace Chang said the opening of the centre marks a significant stride in answering the call for the replication of CISOCA’s multi-agency, survivor entered approach regionally across the nation.

“As we establish this One-Stop Centre, we recognize the importance of a comprehensive, coordinated, and multi-agency response to the heinous crimes committed against the most vulnerable members of our community – our women and girls.  By providing a safe and confidential space for individuals to come forward, we empower survivors to speak out, seek justice, and contribute to the dismantling of a culture that perpetuates this kind of violence,” Dr Chang stated.

The national security minister also announced that the JCF would seek to organize for medical doctors to be on call or on scheduled visits to the One Stop Victim Centre, and that by the end of 2024, the Kingston and St. Andrew public will be served from a newly renovated and more modern CISOCA facility at the Upper Musgrave area in St. Andrew.

Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sports, Honourable Olivia Grange said the opening of CISOCA’s one stop centre in Clarendon signifies the ongoing commitment of the JCF to delivering seamless and coordinated services to survivors of gender-based violence as part of the Continuum of Care for Survivors of Gender-based Violence (GBV). She reiterated her Ministry’s commitment to partnerships and working together to address the scourge of gender-based violence.

Minister Grange said she was pleased that the Centre was opening during the period of the 16 Days of Activism to end violence against women and girls, noting that this demonstrated Government’s investments in Gender-Based Violence (GBV). She further announced that her ministry had established a Sexual Harassment Investigation Unit and a Gender-Based Violence Helpline Unit within the Bureau of Gender Affairs to address GBV.  

EU in Jamaica Programme Manager Vanna Lawrence who represented EU Ambassador Marianne Van Steen said the CISOCA centre will further complement the availability of services to victims and encourage the community to play an active role in the protection of all victims. "I am optimistic that the empathetic officers who will be selected to serve in this centre will not only see the crimes that have been committed from a law enforcement perspective but will be able to address their interventions appropriately in ways that lead to lasting peace within families and save lives,” said Ambassador Van Steen. "

UN Resident Coordinator, Dennis Zulu called the one stop victim-support centre a global best practice and a transformative step forward in addressing violence against women and girls and a violence-free Jamaica. In reporting on the Spotlight Initiative’s impact on Gender Based Violence, Mr. Zulu said the programe has been a catalyst for change. “It has empowered national and sub-national authorities, institutions and civil society with the knowledge and capacity to deliver quality, coordinated essential services,” he said.  

The Spotlight Initiative, a partnership of the EU and UN in Jamaica, supports the elimination of specific forms of violence and addresses other forms of violence against women & girls (VAWG) through strengthening national and sub-national systems and institutions plans and funds to deliver evidence- based programmes that respond to violence against women and girls, including family violence. UNDP, one of four United Nations organizations in Jamaica partnering on the Spotlight Initiative has lead implementation responsibility for the One Stop Victim Centre as well as Domestic Violence Intervention Centres.