Aim & Context
The project aimed to create and implement a system of multi-agency response to violence against women (VAW), to ensure safety of women victims of all forms of violence in close relation, and make the perpetrator accountable.
For the purpose of achieving the project objectives, the project outlined three specific sets of activities (work streams):
(1) development, testing and implementation of practical tools for police and health care professionals.
(2) trainings to improve professional capacities for police, prosecutors, judges, probation officers, health care and other professionals engaged in the work of protection of victims of domestic violence (social workers, psychologists, child’s rights protection officers, social pedagogues and other).
(3) awareness raising to raise awareness of communities contributing to their consolidation & cooperation with institutions for better VAW prevention.
• Increased cooperation between municipal administration and police on municipal-level which then impacted the development of other multi-agency initiatives such as model of support for VAW prevention and the suicide prevention programme on municipal level;
• Strengthened relationship between the police, victim-support center and probation offices whereby police became more involved in motivating perpetrators to attend behaviour change programs and there is joint oversight of their successful completion;
• Individual professionals working in the system changed their attitudes regarding VAW;
• Established informal contact network both in two municipalities but also for the project implementers, linking them with the duty bearers of VAW prevention and response and the local communities;
• Strengthened political support for maintaining multi-agency cooperation and VAW prevention on local level;
• Increased understanding of how to effectively communicate about VAW in light of the needs of target groups - the importance of giving victims a voice, finding ways to engage bystanders, helping judges recognize the detriments of ‘reconciliation’, the effectiveness of the cycle of violence and power for communication on VAW;
• The lessons learnt and best European practices on multi-agency cooperation presented for integration in the National Action Plan on Protection and Prevention of Domestic Violence for 2020-2024;
• Awareness raising targeting both local communities and society in general made an impact on changing public attitudes. According to surveys victim blaming in general public was reduced up to 10% from 2017 till 2019.