A two-day meeting on the topic of protection in the municipalities of the Doboj region
As a result of the work on improving the work of the referral mechanisms in the Doboj region, the member of the SC of the Safe Network Budućnost Modriča organized on December 29 and 30, 2016 in Teslić a two-day meeting on the topic of protection in the municipalities of the Doboj region entitled "Situation Analysis and Possibilities for Improved Cooperation" within the marking of 16 days of activism. The participants were representatives of Centres for Social Work, Centres for Mental Health, Health institutions, decision makers from Modriča, Šamac and Vukosava, as well as representatives of the media.
The emphasis was placed on more effective co-operation in the area of care for victims of domestic violence and the financing of these costs from local communities
THE TOPICS ADDRESSED:
- Presentation of the Work of the Safe House in Modriča
- Cross-sectoral cooperation - achievements and challenges in the area of combating and preventing violence against women and children
- Examples of Good Practice
- Standards of the Convention on the Suppression and Prevention of Violence against Women and Domestic Violence
The Centres for Social Work have shown examples of good practice in their work so far, as well as the most common difficulties. Participants were informed of the Convention's standards, analysis findings and initiatives launched by the organization. More…
INTER-SECTOR COOPERATION - KEY PROBLEMS
The procedures and laws that women with domestic violence experience encounter represent a real ambiguity and an area that they are not able to manage in the best manner. Women who experience violence when leaving this "vicious cycle" come into a state of helplessness and lack of confidence, and feel a certain uncertainty as to the exercise of their rights. After we clarify the rights and opportunities of most users, they express surprise because they did not know the process, while some users have the wrong information. For the victims of violence the biggest problem is the situation when the institutions of the system do not perceive them as victims. Interpreting the gravity of the violence is often dependent on the actions of the individual within the Centres for Social Work, so it happens that the various provisions of the law are differently standardized and evaluated and therefore applied. In relation to this, it could be said that the problem is of unequal treatment, insufficient expertise and lack of empathy of employees in institutions / the subjects of protection.
In addition, the key issues are: centres for social work do not send victims to a safe house or refuse to allow accommodation at the victim's request. If approved and accommodation then this is a very short term (2-7 days), inadequate treatment of juvenile victims who have been excluded from the family (untimely appointment of a temporary guardian, foster family without conducting procedures to adapt the child a new foster family - what can be characterized as neglecting the best interests of the child), superficial consideration of socio-economic circumstances of the victim, absence of applications for the imposition of protective measures, and refusal to provide documentation (e.g., a report on the report of violence that the victim may use in the further proceedings).
There are further problems, but it can be said that these are some of the key issues women with experience of violence encounter. The majority of these victims' issues are addressed to professionals at centers for social work, while only a few have been referred to police authorities.
FINANCING COSTS OF SHELTERING VICTIMS OF VIOLENCE
The Safe House Coordinator in Modriča Biljana Đukić pointed out that: "The Law on Protection from Domestic Violence of the Republika Srpska (Official Gazette of RS No. 102/12, 108/13, 82/15) regulates the protection of domestic violence or family violence. In accordance with the Rulebook on Standards for the Realization of a Safe House, the Safe House in Modriča has met standards in terms of space, equipment and personnel equipment, and is registered in the Register of Safe Houses run by the Ministry of Family, Youth and Sports RS. The Ordinance on the method of allocating funds to a safe house established that funds for the temporary care of victims were provided from the RS Budget in the amount of 70% and from the budgets of the local communities in the amount of 30% of the established price of the base of the accommodation price of the victim determined each year by the Minister of Family, Youth and Sports of RS.
In the previous period, the Safe House did not address the Municipality of Modriča with a request for reimbursement of costs according to the above mentioned criteria, because in the budget of the Municipality of Modriča there was an item - Grant for the Safe House. Funds for this item have significantly decreased over the past few years and do not correspond to the actual situation and needs according to the number of women and children who, at the request and with the solution of the Modriča Centre for Social Work, used this support measure. Based on the data from the previous 3 years, the Safe House in Modriča would annually claim between 12,000 and 16,000 KM for the care of victims of violence, which means that the grant from the Modriča municipality covers 30-40% of the actual costs while the municipalities of Vukosavlje and Šamac in general do not pay the funds, although we accommodate women from these municipalities every year.
For these reasons, it is proposed that in the next year, in all municipalities, a new budget line should be established to support the implementation of support measures for victims of violence, which would be aligned with the Law on Protection against Domestic Violence and the Republika Srpska Budget, and funds for this purpose are in the group:
416000 – Remittances for social protection paid out of the budget of Republika Srpska
416300 – Remittances for victims of domestic violence.
By introducing a new budget line, the municipalities would use the same standards as in the RS Budget. Funds are paid in accordance with actual costs and payments are made periodically, i.e. after the provision of support for the accommodation of the victim in a safe house.”
After the presentation a discussion was opened. Representatives of municipalities and centres for social work had the highest number of objections to the high price on a monthly basis, and it was explained to them that all costs are related to support for victims of violence, which are not only for food, hygiene and accommodation but also for psychological, social and legal support..
• to improve cross-sectoral cooperation in dealing with victims of domestic violence;
• stimulate the development of a joint support plan for victims of domestic violence, the establishment of an aid plan and the coordination of activities in the victim assistance process in accordance with its needs;
• raising the awareness of the relevant entities on the importance of aligning the norms, policies and practices with the standards of the Convention;
• provide greater flow of information between the subjects of protection;
• define the holding of joint meetings to exchange information;
• the Modriča Municipality will consider the possibility of restructuring grants from the grant in the budget line as in the Republika Srpska budget;
• the municipalities of Vuksosavlje and Šamac are in a very difficult financial situation and have no possibility to increase the budget but this does not mean that they will not find a way to support the Safe House for victims coming from that area.