The Window of Hope initiative by Al Barsha Police erases criminality from the act, changing the law's approach to suicide attempts
9 July 2019| Last updated on 9 July 2019
The new initiative by Al Barsha Police will provide treatment, not punishment for victims
In an interview with Gulf News, Brigadier Abdul Raheem Bin Shafe’ei, director of the Al Barsha Police Station, said the station launched a new initiative to provide support and rehabilitation for those who try and take their own lives. The Window of Hope initiative aims to help distressed people who are suffering from psychological pressure or have problems that may push them to attempt suicide.
Brigadier Bin Shafe’ei said, "Officers sit with the person to provide social support while a doctor works towards rehabilitation. It is part of the Dubai Police strategy to spread happiness in the emirate [...] The idea is to provide support to such people and deal with them as victims who need moral support and help. We study the reasons which led to them to take such a step and enable them to return to normal life."
Window of Hope will be implemented in all Dubai police stations soon
Suicide is a public health issue that can affect anyone from any race, age, class, and gender. Even those who have experienced much success and are publicly perceived as a happy character can choose to end their life out of financial troubles, clinical depression, dissatisfaction with their life, and many other reasons.
In the UAE, attempting suicide is classified as a criminal act.
Those caught trying to take their own life can be punished under UAE law with a prison term of no more than 6 months or a fine of up to AED 5,000, or in some cases both.
But the approach to these acts is changing. In the spirit of spreading happiness, compassion, and positive change in the emirate, the appropriately named Window of Hope initiative will not punish failed suicide attempts.
According to Gulf News, a recent failed suicide incident included a female teacher who tried to commit suicide. She was rescued and rehabilitated by Al Barsha police officers.
Brigadier Bin Shafe’ei said they worked with the prosecuting authorities and the employing school to understand to her predicament.
"We convinced the school to give her vacation and let her travel to her home country,” he added.