The key data on the implementation of the Law on the Protection of Domestic Violence in 2022, was reviewed compared to 2018 and 2019 (before the pandemic), compared to 2020, the year marked by the state of emergency and the emergency situation due to COVID-19, as well as compared to 2021. It indicates the trends of discontinuing the increase in reporting domestic violence events, along with the increase in the number of risky events compared to the number of reported events of violence. The number of police orders also increased, for individual measures and for both measures imposed together, as well as the number of perpetrators of violence. Proposals for extension and decisions on extended emergency protection measures are in high percentage accordance with the number of police orders. The number of reviewed domestic violence cases at meetings of groups for coordination and cooperation approached that of 2019.
There is a slight increase in the number of violations of measures, and the constant increase in the number of perpetrators who have repeated acts of violence is concerning. It might be related to the reduction in the number of cases for which information is collected on whether the activities of the reported act have the characteristics of a criminal act or whether the reported activities represent an act for which there is reasonable suspicion that the criminal act of domestic violence was committed, as well as to an extremely small number of ex officio lawsuits for measures of protection against domestic violence, under the Family Law.
The number of individual victim protection and support plans developed at groups for coordination and cooperation meetings in 2022 is the largest since the beginning of monitoring the implementation of the law. The number of victims of violence participating in group meetings is also the largest in 2022, but still far from the number of individual plans drafted (only 3%) and the number of meetings held (only 23%). The increase refers only to a few basic public prosecutor's offices (BPPO), primarily to II BPPO in Belgrade. Finally, the year 2022 saw the largest number of meetings, which is quite similar to that of 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic and epidemiological measures that limited institutional action.
Bearing in mind that, based on quantitative and qualitative analyses, a lot of knowledge has been accumulated about the implementation of the Law on the Prevention of Domestic Violence, it would be necessary to approach the elimination of shortcomings in the form of uneven implementation of the provisions of the law, through better and targeted training of professionals, but also through the development of guidelines/instructions for all identified issues affecting difficulties with or misinterpretation of the law. Particular attention should be paid to the relationship between emergency, preventive security protection, provided for by the Law on the Prevention of Domestic Violence, and other forms of security protection provided for by other laws, which are less frequently used. The understanding and quality of security risk assessment should be improved. During the implementation of the law, good practices were formed for certain segments of work, and it would be useful for professionals, as well as for those responsible for monitoring the implementation of the law to become familiar with them, so that they become part of the standard procedure (in cases where they do not depend on local circumstances).
Each report on the implementation of the Law on the Prevention of Domestic Violence unambiguously confirms the importance of and reiterates the recommendation for the establishment of a central (electronic) record, which would consistently consolidate data from key sources. We also reiterate the recommendation that the Council for the Suppression of Domestic Violence undertake the activities and responsibilities for which it is competent, taking into account the previous analyses and reports on the implementation of the law. The recommendations from our reports have not had any (visible) effects so far, so we have to persistently remind the authorities of their unfulfilled obligations, which affect the safety, health, well-being, and quite often, the lives of victims of domestic violence in Serbia.
See key findings of the report HERE.
View the presentation of the most important data in the infographic HERE.