For the ninth time, the Autonomous Women's Center presents a report on independent monitoring of the implementation of the Law on Prevention of Domestic Violence in Serbia for the period January-December 2020, which also contains comparative data from the previous year. There are still no consolidated, publicly available, official reports on the application of the Law, and the lack of a central electronic record on the application of the Law makes it difficult to monitor it comprehensively and fosters inconsistent and incomparable data from different sources. The ninth independent report was prepared by Tanja Ignjatović.
Autonomous Women’s Center continued to independently monitor the implementation of the Law on the Prevention of Domestic Violence. The eighth report covers the activities of the police and prosecutor’s offices in 2019, based on data obtained monthly from the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Republic Public Prosecutor’s Office. In addition, this report includes data from the annual reports on the work of centers for social work in Serbia (for 2018, since the report for 2019 is not yet publicly available). Moreover, although it is 2020, the data are provided on the actions of state bodies in the period March-May, i.e. during the SARS-CoV 2 epidemic and the state of emergency.
AWC’s independent monitoring of the Law on the Prevention of Domestic Violence for the period July-December 2018, has confirmed earlier statements concerning the stabilization of procedures of responsible institutions in this field. On average, 1572 of restraining orders and 689 eviction orders are issued monthly, while 663 persons receive both measures. The sex of persons against whom these measures are issued confirm well-known data – men receive them in 85% and women in 15% of cases. Data on the sex of persons who receive both urgent measures is also expected – men in 90% of cases and women in 10% of cases, which indirectly indicates that men commit more aggravated acts of domestic violence.
The Sixth Independent Report of Autonomous Women’s Center (in further text: AWC) on monitoring implementation of the Law on the Prevention of Domestic Violence encompasses data review for the three-month period from April to June 2018, and an overview of the main annual findings and conclusions, as June 1, 2018 marks the first year of implementation of the Law. The analysis of the available data and the made recommendations tend to demonstrate whether a comprehensive and appropriate protection of victims of domestic violence has been established, especially of women and children as the most exposed to this type of violence, in line with their rights and needs, as well as with the international standards accepted by the Republic of Serbia.
Key recommendations after monitoring the implementation of the Law on the Prevention of Domestic Violence for the period January-March 2018 conducted by the Autonomous Women's Center relate to the necessity of ensuring the conditions for the participation of victims of violence at meetings of the Groups for Coordination and Cooperation, providing not only sufficient competent police employees, but also organizational solutions that free them from other tasks, as well as instructions and expert support for the implementation of the Law based on the depth analysis of data.
After the first three independent monthly reports, the fourth independent report of the Autonomous Women's Center on the implementation of the Law on the Prevention of Domestic Violence relates to the three-month period from September to November 2017.
The main finding in August was that the positive trend of implementing emergency measures of protection against domestic violence was kept steady. According to RPPO data for the period August 1-31, 2017, there were 3,832 examined cases of domestic violence, 691 cases more than in the previous month. Even without complete information, it is clear that the institutions of the system were faced with domestic violence, primarily the police and public prosecution, but also centers for social work, which fully justifies the legally prescribed coordination and specialization.
In the Second Independent Report on the Implementation of the Law on the Prevention of Domestic Violence, the Autonomous Women's Center points out that the the implementation of emergency measures of protection from domestic violence has been successfully continued, since the Republic Public Prosecutor's Office reported that 3141 cases of domestic violence were considered in July.
"We use this opportunity to emphasize that the implementation of the Law on the Prevention of Domestic Violence was successfully launched in the first month. According to the data of the Republic Public Prosecutor's Office, 2,430 cases of domestic violence were examined in June 2017. Although the number of emergency measures taken under the authority of the police is not known, in almost half of the cases of domestic violence, the deputy public prosecutors filed proposals for extending emergency measures (1,212 proposals). The largest number of the proposals for extending emergency measures was adopted by the court (1,174 proposals)" - it is stated in the First Independent Report on the Implementation of the Law on the Prevention of Domestic Violence.
The Advocates for Human Rights and Autonomous Women’s Center carried out fact-finding to monitor and document the Serbian government's implementation of laws that address domestic violence.