Zagreb - Lawmakers on Wednesday held a debate on a domestic violence protection bill with the intention of warning the public that domestic violence was on the rise and that society was not doing enough to prevent it, to protect the victims and in particular, to protect women.
"Figures showing that 22 to 45 women are murdered each year is concerning. Each year, charges are pressed against between 11,500 and 17,500 perpetrators and the number of victims is between 14,500 and 22,200, and in 64% to 71% of the cases, the victims are women. Official police data indicates that each year between 1,400 and 2,000 punishable offences are reported and once again in 75% to 80% of these cases, the victims are women," MP Ivan Vilibor Sinčić (Human Blockade) said, referring to police records.
Social Democratic Party (SDP) MP Romana Jerković is convinced that as a society, we are not doing enough. MP Hrvoje Zekanović (Hrast) warned about the need to urgently ratify the Istanbul Convention. The provisions of this convention have been incorporated in the bill yet parliament has still not ratified the convention. "Are 12,000 women beaten each year not sufficient for us to do that?" MP Jerković wondered.
The domestic violence protection act should strengthen the position of victims during procedures and will enable their active participation in processes to prevent trauma and secondary victimisation. The bill also prescribes the obligation for health and welfare institutions, education and religions institutions, humanitarian organisations and nongovernmental organisations to report evident cases of domestic violence. It also proposes the establishment of a commission in the Ministry of Justice that will be responsible for monitoring and improving the work of law enforcement authorities involved with domestic violence cases. (Hina)