As part of the global campaign "16 days of activism against male violence against women", the Autonomous Women's Centre points out the consequences for women and children of violence committed by intimate partners during and after court proceedings to determine parental care of children and calls on all relevant state bodies - committees, ministries, institutions, as well as professional organizations involved in the creation of policies and standards, to approach with due care the systematic and practical solution of this issue, in accordance with the highest standards of protection and support to all victims and in the best interests of the child.
The recently adopted EU Parliament Resolution on the consequences of violence committed by partners in intimate relationships and the right to parental care for women and children (2019/2166 (INI)) links two phenomena that are most often, though unjustifiably, separated in practice - violence performed by intimate partners and the right to parental care (entrusting the child and maintaining personal relations with the parent with whom the child does not live), i.e., the consequences that these circumstances have on women and children.
The Resolution contains seven chapters: in addition to general remarks, a chapter on issues of protection, safety and support for victims of gender-based violence, i.e., combating violence committed by partners in intimate relationships during the process of granting custody on children and the visitation model and maintaining personal relationships with parents; on issues of protection and support, i.e., access to legal protection, emergency accommodation and funds for victims; protection and support for children; prevention chapters, related to the training of professionals; as well as to address issues of gender stereotypes and prejudices, i.e., in the field of education and raising awareness; as well as the chapter on cooperation between the member states of the European Union.
In Serbia, inadequate decisions and measures, as well as the inability of state bodies to enforce court decisions in proceedings to determine the right to parental care, are the cause of many consequences for women victims of violence and their children, and some have resulted in irreparable loss of both mothers’ and children’s lives. Although the state of Serbia has adopted international standards and normative framework that oblige the establishment of expert assessments and procedures that will guarantee protection (safety) and support to victims, including children witnesses of violence, little has been done to apply them and improve expertise in competent state bodies and institutions.
The open letter of the AWC to the competent committees in the National Assembly and the ministries in the Government of the Republic of Serbia can be seen HERE.
The content of the Resolution and why it is important for Serbia can be seen in the following text HERE.
The EU Parliament Resolution on the consequences of violence committed by partners in intimate relationships and the right to parental care for women and children (2019/2166 (INI)), can be seen HERE.