Survey confirms significant barriers to women accessing police services in Amman
8 March 2021
AMMAN: Significant gender divides still exist in women’s access to police and protection services in Amman, a public perception survey published by Siren Associates on International Women’s Day 2021 has found.
The survey, which took place in April 2020 and was just cleared for release by the Public Security Directorate, revealed that only 40% of women in the Jordanian capital have ever visited a police station, compared to 77% of men.
It also showed that 45% of women are concerned about domestic violence and that 53% of women and men worry about online crime, including harassment and blackmail. Yet only a quarter of people in Amman would advise a female domestic violence survivor to report it to the police. Just over a third would encourage doing nothing. This stands in stark contrast to reporting levels for theft and physical assault that top 90%.
Simply increasing the availability of women police officers would contribute to a significant rise in in-person reporting. Seventy percent of women respondents said they would be more likely to consider going to the police if there were easier access to a police woman.
Work needs to be done at the community level to normalise women’s engagement with the police. Overall, 57% of Amman residents think that most families in their area prefer women to stay away from police stations. Men are more likely to think this than women.
Outreach could also be improved. Four out of five Amman residents have never head of Local Security Councils and how they can facilitate coordination and joint working between communities and the police. Two thirds are unaware of the PSD’s mobile application, which includes a crime reporting function.