Aim & Context
The project aimed to identify, empirically describe and bring into focus the most problematic aspects of existing legal practice constituting barriers to effective legal prosecution and punishment of violence against women and to improve awareness of the existing barriers among relevant legal professionals and public in general. It aimed also to address existing barriers to effective legal protection of women victims of violence through training of judges of municipal and county courts, state attorneys and police officers. The project facilitated more effective cooperation among institutions within the system of prevention, prosecution and punishment of violence against women; it changed the perception of domestic violence in media reporting, in order to end sensationalism and avoid second victimisation of victims. Finally, the project aimed to provide help and support to women, victims of violence.
During the project implementation, various foreseen as well as unforeseen activities were carried out within the following groups of activities:
- Researches of the case-law of criminal and misdemeanour verdicts and the media reporting about violence against women and femicide,
- Trainings of the targeted groups (police, judges, state attorneys and media professionals),
- Systematic information dissemination to relevant stakeholders (judicial institutions, police, media) as well as the general public about violence against women and femicide (roundtables, documentary production, project website, media appearances, public statements, regional conferences),
- Publication of Media Codex – a guide for professional and sensitive reporting on violence against women and femicide and motivating 13 media publishers to sign the Agreement on acceptance of guidelines for sensitive reporting about violence against women and femicide,
- Publication of 2 expert analysis of court verdicts (misdemeanour and criminal) on cases of violence against women,
- Provided assistance to victims of domestic violence and other forms of violence against women in the process of reporting violence, preparation of victims for court process, psychological counselling and therapy, legal assistance, crisis counselling and medical assistance.
During the project implementation period, the following results were achieved:
- 2 empirical researches were conducted which resulted in 655 criminal court verdicts on cases of violence against women from 2012 to 2016, and 470 final misdemeanour verdicts on violence against women, from 2012 to 2016.
- 9 two-day trainings were conducted for judges of municipal and county courts, state attorneys and deputies of municipal and county state attorney offices and police officers with the aim of improving the capacity to respond to violence against women in three cities: Zagreb, Osijek and Split.
- 5 cross-sectoral educations were organised on the problem of violence against women and femicide in four cities: Zagreb, Osijek, Rijeka and Split.
- 2 analyses on media reporting on violence against women and femicide were published.
- “Media Codex – A guide to professional and sensitive reporting on violence against women and femicide” was published, based on which the Agreement on acceptance of the Guidelines for professional and sensitized reporting on violence against women and femicide with 13 media representatives in Croatia was signed.
- Documentary film “Women, Media, Violence” was produced.
- 2 two-day educations for media representatives on violence against women and femicide were held.
- 6 meetings were held with Commission for Gender Equality City of Zagreb, Croatian Chamber of Social Workers, Croatian Institute of Public Health Croatian, Chamber of Nurses, Committee for Gender Equality, Croatian Parliament, Office for Gender Equality of the Government of Republic of Croatia, with the aim of establishing cooperation and empowerment of institutions to improve the protection system for women victims of violence.
- Partner organisation Women’s Room – Centre for sexual rights conducted counselling sessions for a total of 464 women victims of violence.
After conducted researches of the misdemeanour and criminal verdicts discussed about in training for the police, state attorneys and judges, it was concluded that findings of the researches as well as trainings contributed significantly to the understanding and acceptance of the key barriers for the effective legal prosecution and punishment of violence against women. The awareness about gender-based violence was raised to all the above target groups who stated in their evaluation the need for such training. The awareness, of the journalists and editors was raised as well, in the process of drafting Media Codex and during the trainings.
This direct approach and personal contacts with journalists and editors resulted in the willingness of 13 media houses to sign “The Agreement on accepting the Media Codex Guidelines” and commit to a more sensitive and less sensational reporting about violence against women.