Monday, December 11, 2017

Advocacy

Initial premise of the Autonomous Women's Center is that policies, in order to fight against violence against women, at the local and national level should be consistent with international standards and good practices in this field. In accordance with the strategic goals, that the Convention of the United Nations and the Council of Europe should be implemented well by the state and that in the process of joining the European Union we must respect the human rights of women, Autonomous Women's Center consistently monitors the implementation of and advocates for a comprehensive, coherent, relevant, specific, efficient and effective national policies against violence against women.

September 23rd 2003 in Belgrade, organized by the Autonomous Women's Center from Belgrade
With the participation of representatives of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of RS, Belgrade Secretariat of Internal Affairs, the Committee on Health and the Family of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia, nine Departments of Internal Affairs, non-governmental and international organizations.

In his welcome speech, Colonel Mišič, Chief of Police, highlighted the importance of the topic of this gathering, and the fact that the numbers on domestic violence are higher than police records show. It is said that the parallel operations of preventive actions and sanctions can reduce the "dark numbers" and encourage victims to seek help.

After the presentation of the basic data from the analysis of the experiences of  Autonomous Women's Center's clients in institutions and data from the records of the cases of domestic violence established by the project participants from 9 Departments of social welfare center, it was indicated that:

  1. attitude of professionals towards violence and victims, and the presence of direct (specific) interventions, defines the subjective experience of service users;
  2. domestic violence is a serious, yet socially invisible problem, which is characterized by a high share of severe forms of violence, the long duration of violence before the victim addressed the institution, the frequent use of weapons and dangerous instruments, the significant presence of violations and/or the presence of injury to children in nearly all cases of partner violence.

The interview was concluded with the findings can not be satisfied with the positive changes, especially after the amendments in the Criminal Code of RS and the introduction of Article 118a, because it indicates clearly the state's attitude that domestic violence is unacceptable behavior. Also, optimism is based on the changes that will follow the adoption of the Family Law which envisages a number of measures to protect victims of domestic violence. Huge joint work should continue linking all responsible and interested parties, and drawing attention to the importance of the problem and seeking for adequate social solutions.

Conclusions of the round table "The standardization of work of institutions in the field of domestic violence," derived from the proposal of participants:

Continue with the activities on developing a model of coordinated action of various institutions and professionals in the local community in addressing domestic violence, integrating the previous positive results and ideas.

Support the use of the proposed Protocol treatment as a basic guideline for the functioning of the police in situations of domestic violence. At the same time, stand up for legislative changes that would allow standardization of treatment, a unique record, defined and mandatory cooperation between institutions and clear personal and professional responsibility for the quality of interventions in cases of domestic violence.

Suggest to the local government to support the initiatives of the institutions and NGOs to solve the problem of domestic violence, and to actively participate in the creation of networks of cooperation and financing activities.

Actively contribute to informing citizens about the legal as well as the protection measures in the area of domestic violence.