Photo: Protector of Citizens

The Protector of Citizens determined that the Law on Prevention of Domestic Violence has brought improvements in the system of protection against violence in family and in intimate partner relationships since the beginning of its implementation, but that there is room for additional improvements, primarily in the early response to this type of violence.

"In Serbia, victims of domestic violence, be it physical, psychological or economic, are mostly children, women and the elderly, who are often not even aware that they are victims of discrimination and abuse. This kind of treatment is not a matter of an individual family, as is the common understanding in our country, but of the whole society, because violence gives birth to either new bullies or new victims", said the Protector of Citizens, Zoran Pašalić.

Today, in an online address at the presentation of the Special Report of the Protector of Citizens on the work of coordination and cooperation groups in the area of the Higher Public Prosecutor's Office in Niš, Pašalić said that there are noticeable improvements in the actions of the competent authorities regarding the protection of victims of domestic violence, but that there is room for improving their work.

"Violence should be recognized on time, so victims of violence should be empowered to report those who abuse them to the competent authorities. And then the competent authorities should effectively and efficiently provide the victims with full protection from the abusers", Pašalić said.

Photo: Protector of Citizens

Deputy Protector of Citizens for Gender Equality, Jelena Stojanović, presenting the Special Report on the work of coordination and cooperation groups in the area of the Higher Public Prosecutor's Office in Niš, said that the research of the Protector of Citizens has shown that taking prescribed measures in cases of domestic violence became more effective and timelier and that acting officers better recognize violence and its forms.

"The improvement is also reflected in terms of communication between the authorities responsible for recording, preventing and sanctioning domestic violence. On the other hand, under the Law on the Prevention of Violence in Family and in Intimate Partner Relationships, multi-sector professional trainings for representatives of the prosecution, police administrations and centres for social work that make up groups for coordination and cooperation, would contribute to the improvement of work of the competent authorities", said Stojanović.

The Special Report of the Protector of Citizens was prepared in cooperation with the Autonomous Women's Centre and the Forum of Judges of Serbia, within the project "Effective policies and harmonized practice in providing support and assistance to victims of domestic violence", supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.