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Observing the Implementation of New Domestic Violence Laws

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Observing the Implementation of New Domestic Violence Laws

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  1. Monitoring the Implementation of New Domestic Violence Laws By Mirjana Dokmanovic, Serbia Regional Conference on Domestic Violence Legal Reform Sofia, February 14, 2008

  2. Does the government care? • The governments have made an evident progress in drafting and adopting DV laws BUT: • How are these laws implemented? • What is their impact? • Are they effective in protecting victims, providing access to justice, providing special care for children, preventing DV? • How to review / strengthen / enforce / amend them? • Gaps? • Achievements? • What data the governments have ? (needed to have clear picture about the nature, prevalence, forms of DV for identifying the most effective responses and resources to combating DV, review/amend laws, etc.)

  3. International directions related to monitoring • The actual effectiveness of the measures must be continuously reviewed so that modifications can take place if necessary (CEDAW, DVAW) • A review of existing national laws and comprehensive research is necessary (rec.1582 (2002)) • Monitor the efficacy of the measures taken to protect the victim and the behaviour of the violent man (Recommendations of the Expert Forums) • Promote research, collect data and compile statistics, relating to the prevalence of different forms of VAW (CEDAW) • Improve statistics on DV, and with this in mind to develop a clear picture of its nature and prevalence (rec.1582 (2002) rec.(2002)5.)

  4. Does the government care? • Reg. report on implementation of int. standards related to DV in W. Balkans: State monitoring does not exist at all • Data collecting mostly done partially and sporadically, without a clear and uniform approach • State statistics limited; it is more indicator of the work of courts, prosecutors’ offices and other criminal institutions, rather than it is the indicator of the real level of criminality / DV • Dark number of DV unknown, estimated to be very high (1:3 to 1:10) • Statistics oriented towards perpetrators • Scarce data about victims (age, employed/unemployed, disability, nationality, refugee and other status) and their relations with perpetrators • No clear indicators for victims identification and unified methodology on collecting data • Monitoring / research / collecting data – predominantly by women’s groups • But – used methodologies differ, women’s NGOs not always properly trained, no systematic research : data not comparable

  5. Does the government care? • Gaps: 1. Effects of laws on victims belonging to vulnerable groups (Roma, with disabilities, rural, refugees etc.) 2. Usage of firearms and dangerous weapons in incidents of DV: - almost no data, no statistics, no research until recently - no unified record at health care and social care institutions - no data of incidents of DV committed by policemen, prosecutors, and other officials who are entitled to carry and possess firearms by their professions - impact of the presence of guns in households on reporting DV 3. DV in post-conflict situations / guns as risk factor

  6. Does the government care? • Gaps: 4. Budgetary implications of DV - How much DV costs: - the victim - the family - the society / the State (health care, social care, shelters, services, police, judicial system, rehabilitation, lost working hours, etc.) - The Netherlands – total costs estimated at 151 million € / year (psychological support 62 million € , judicial system 31 million €, medical leave 13 million €) – calculation based only on reported cases - At level of the CoE – total costs at least 33 billion €

  7. Proposals for improving the statistics / data collecting • Legal reform should be accompanied with the reform of the state statistics and data collecting • Reform of monitoring and reporting mechanisms • Identification of the criminality with high level of dark number needs implementation of additionally techniques (e.g. polls on victimisation, ethnographic multimethods) • Developing unified methodologies for collecting data (including identifying institutions (research NGOs) as reporting units), developing instruments and clear definitions • Regular polls on victimisations • More frequent and periodical reporting (not only annually) • Unified and linked systems of reporting of all the relevant actors (medical workers, social workers, police, shelters, SOS lines, etc.)

  8. Proposals for improving the statistics / data collecting 8. Strong collaboration / partnership with the civil sector (research NGOs, institutions, etc.) 9. State support of the systematic research 10. The state should identify / mandate monitoring state bodies/institutions 11. Development of unified methodology that would enable international cooperation 12. Regular reporting of monitoring bodies to the government: on the extent, nature and consequences of DV, and on the impact and effectiveness of laws, policies and programmes for combating DV 13. Reform of the structure / the coordination of all the institutions involved in combating DV, particularly in the areas of prevention and protection; link their system of collecting data 14. Regular information of the public