Cooperation with institutions in the establishment of mechanisms for monitoring and intervention in domestic violence

Project For a life without fear II was implemented in 2005 in all 16 Belgrade municipalities in cooperation with the City Center for Social Welfare Belgrade and the Secretariat of Internal Affairs of Belgrade. The participants of the project were 225 professional workers from the Department of Social Welfare and 98 police officers. The project was implemented with financial support from DFID and HIVOS.

The effort to establish cooperation with the representatives of the public sector - social welfare center and the police, was realized through three types of program activities:

  • Acquisition of knowledge about domestic violence organized through seminars, evaluation meetings and consultations; printed educational materials; the analysis procedure of public services and analysis of case law in order to review the existing models of care and failures of the system;
  • The acquisition of skills and application of acquired knowledge is organized through the identification and recording of domestic violence cases, making detailed instructions on handling, case conferences and joint planning of measures to protect the victim and proceedings against the perpetrator of violence, as well as through the development of cooperation between representatives of different institutions at the local level;
  • Advocacy secured the visibility of the problem of domestic violence, sensitizing the general and professional public and lobbying decision makers for systemic change.

Evaluation of the results in reaching social change indicates that we have achived:

Significant progress in the understanding and definition of the problem, which had a direct impact on service users, as well as the indirect impact on the professionals who were not covered by program activities (prosecution, courts, schools, preschools, etc).

There has been significant progress in the treatment of professionals in addressing the problem of domestic violence with the use of appropriate training, guidance and documents on the treatment. The process of creating procedures was participatory and initiated a number of creative solutions.

There has been significant progress in creating a "critical mass" as evidenced by the number of participants who are actively practiced knowledge as well as a number of representatives of other institutions which are not directly involved in the project, and who are engaged in the activities of planning measures for protection against domestic violence. The number professionals interested in the model and training from other cities it is also significant.

There has been a partial success in achieving changes in institutional policy. All activities contributed to the creation of a clear policy and specific guidelines on the treatment but have not been established as a formal standard treatment although there are no formal obstacles for this. Encouragingly, the individual examples of activities teams in CSW initiatives of the police and examples of establishing inter-institutional cooperation and support of local government.

There has been a partial success in maintaining the achieved results. In context which does not stimulate faster reform of public services and which does not promote individual professional responsibility, it is not clear that all activities and standards would be implemented without project support. However many individual initiatives indicate that the achieved results left no irreversible effects on everyday professional practice in social welfare centers and police.