Authorities and NGOs will commence a six-month trial to test their ability to coordinate their collection of gender-based violence data by recording incidents using simple paper forms, experts said at a meeting on preventing family violence on Wednesday.
Surveys have repeatedly shown that violence against Cambodian women and girls is widespread, but attempts to record and respond to the abuse have fallen short, Robin Mauney, a consultant for the German development agency GIZ, said at a meeting of the government’s Technical Working Group on Gender-Based Violence.
“Each ministry has its own data…. We want that data to be able to do analysis with it, but it’s sometimes difficult to obtain,” she told officials and NGO representatives during the event in Phnom Penh.
“Also, we define things differently. Some ministries might define violence against women differently,” she said.
Ministries represented on the working group are required to collect and share data on the prevalence and responses to violence, but some have failed to comply.
Since 2014, GIZ and the Ministry of Women’s Affairs have worked to develop a set of forms that will assist authorities, from police to health workers, to better record information about victims and offenders, types of abuse and steps taken to seek justice, Ms. Mauney said.
Officials and medical staff in Siem Reap and Kompong Thom provinces have recently begun using the forms as part of a six-month trial, ahead of discussions about how to use them across all levels of government and NGOs.
Keth Marady, director of the ministry’s legal protection department, said improved data collection would lead to a more accurate understanding of how victims were seeking help and how service providers were responding.
“It is the way that we can use to monitor the collection of data in the field, because normally, in the field, we have forms by different stakeholders,” she said.