September 19th 2003 in Belgrade, organized by the Autonomous Women's Center from Belgrade
With the participation of representatives of the Ministry of Social Affairs, the Committee on Health and Family of the National Assembly of Serbia, the City Center for Social Work, nine Departments of Centers for Social Welfare, NGOs and international organizations.

In the welcome speech on behalf of the Director of the City Center for Social Welfare it was pointed out that the project For a life without fear is an example of a successful partnership and cooperation between the institutions and non-governmental organizations, and were expressed expectations that the cooperation will continue and expand to other seven Departments of Centers for Social Welfare , to unify the knowledge of professional workers, and the implemented activities will become a regular professional obligation.

After the presentation of the basic data from the analysis of the experiences of clients of the Autonomous Women's Center in institutions and data records on cases of domestic violence established by the participants from the nine Departments of Centers for Social Welfare, it was pointed out that:

  1. The attitude of professionals towards violence and victims, as well as the presence of direct (specific) intervention, defines 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 discussion was concluded with the findings that we can be satisfied with the work we have done, because the changes are visible. 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.

It was proposed to formulate two types of conclusions:

  • conclusions regarding the implemented activities
  • requirements in relation to the future activity

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 the development of a model of coordinated functioning of institutions and professionals in addressing domestic violence, linking different sectors and different levels of action (from the Ministry of Social Affairs to professionals in social welfare centers and members of the non-governmental organizations) and integrating previous positive results and ideas.

Suggesting to the Ministry of Social Affairs to consider the administrative burden of professional workers that prevent quality of professional work and support the reform efforts of the Ministry to standardize services and operation, propose cooperation protocols and procedures, and identifying, recording, documentation and intervention in domestic violence make it mandatory.

Suggesting 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.

Continue the work on the development of community sensitivity to the problems and consequences of domestic violence, and especially media promotion of measures and possible solutions.

Requirements of participants of the round table "The standardization of work of institutions in the field of domestic violence":

Send a request to the National Assembly and the Executive Council of the City of Belgrade for the formation and funding of social services and on-duty team for crisis intervention.

Send the media statement on the conclusions of the roundtable and the requirements for systematic and adequate informing the general public about the legislative changes, the protection measures and services, institutions and NGOs in relation to the problem of domestic violence.

Send the request to the municipalities and the City for financing security in the departments of the Centres for Social Welfare in the way it is regulated in other public institutions.