Project Domestic Violence
Project "Domestic Violence" - in The Czech Republic
Project partners - Bily kruh bezpeci and Philip Morris CR
Domestic violence in the Czech republic belonged to historically taboo issues. The reaction of society perceived this kind of violence as private thing, which is hungus for strangers and it, is not necessary to react to it officially. Only in cases of extreme health and life consequences of the domestic violence victims legal tools against the violent person were used (crime code, crime law, offence law). There were no instruments, which would detect and stop domestic violence in time. Protection of this kind of victims was mineralised and unsolved. NGOs were established after 1989 when the political system was changed. Bily kruh bezpeci (BKB) - national civic association for victims of crime - started its activity in 1991. Then there were among the clients of BKB 40 % victims of domestic violence. Their situation was so serious that BKB launched a single project. The first phase of the project (monitoring, pooling information from abroad, legal norms analyse, specialized training for BKB counsellors) ran between 1996 - 2000. BKB realizes second part of the project since 2000 - aimed at system changes, introducing a new practice and amend new law for protection in domestic violence. BKB realized 1st national sociological survey in 2001, which found out that 16 % of population older than 15 years of age in the Czech republic were directly hit by domestic violence. The survey also expressed the will of respondents for change, almost 70 % of respondents evaluated domestic violence in the Czech republic as a serious problem, which is for the actors unsolvable without help from outside. Type of the perpetrators of domestic violence in the Czech republic (from the data of DONA help line, non-stop, 2001 - 2004): Men 26 - 40 years prevailing, employed, living in a marriage. They commit violence only in privacy, most often on their partner. Domestic violence accession is quite point-blank, physical violence prevailing, accompanied by psychical. Most common victims are women in the age of 26 - 40, working, living in marriage. Risk factors are: social isolation, typically maternity leave, and start of the retirement in case of the elder people.
The project proposes to change the practice and legislation in the filed of protection from domestic violence within 5 years. The new system will be based on the following principles:
Domestic violence is rarely the unique situation. Usually physical and sexual abuse become more frequent and more cruel by the passing time. Sometimes it can stop too late - at the latest moment , when one person is killed by the other one. The other forms of violence or manupulating behaviour can last for very long time. This circle of violence must be recognised and stopped!
- Combination of social and legal measurements and crime and legal measurements, social and legal measurements will prevail;
- Interdisciplinary team cooperating in regions / cities aimed at quality first contact with the case of domestic violence;
- New legal amendment implementing institute of banishing the violent person along with support of intervention centers for endangered person (inspired by Austrian model).
The project solved short-term immediate help to victims, medium-term practice change and long-term change of law. The project was launched and will end up by a national survey. BKB realized a great national campaign on unacceptability of domestic violence. In the field of the change of practice a national specialized DONA help line was established and started its work. The goal of the DONA help line is to shorten the length of latency of domestic violence (during the first 36 months of the operation of DONA help line, the period of the latent abuse from 6 to 3 years). Pilot project of interdisciplinary cooperation when solving the cases of domestic violence was verified in Ostrava (2003 - 4). BKB realized the project, in which 9 government, municipal and nongovernmental subjects participated. BKB founded Alliance against domestic violence, informal group of 7 influential people (prime minister, vice president of the parliament, etc.). Within The Alliance there arose The Experts Group, which worked out a complex solution within new law. The law is now being read in the Parliament. The project is focused on victims - protection of victims of domestic violence.
The project arose from the initiative of an NGO based on needs of a broad group of clients - victims of domestic violence. NGO as a social entrepreneur realizes this project with the support of a strong social investor. Bily kruh bezpeci, civic association, has been working on this problem since 1996. In 2000 BKB got together with social investor, which was ready to support a strong project for social needs of people, namely victims of domestic violence in Central Europe. The investor is Philip Morris CR, a.s.. A plan / project of a long-term cooperation was made in 2000. The goal of the project was to change the situation in the field of the overlooked serious problem of the community in the Czech republic through system change. The project is set into the context of the situation in the Czech republic based on the survey and domestic empirical data, foreign analytical studies and recommendation of the Council of Europe and United Nations. The project is an exemplary model applicable to other countries, which would decide to open the problem of domestic violence and solve it by system approach in a short time and with reforming results. Applicability of the model presumes existence of a strong national organization to realize the project. This organization should have a quality personal capacity with a long-term financial support, it must be verified for a good cooperation with other subjects, especially with police and organizations in health care and social work.
Bily kruh bezpeci is the author of the project; it is an NGO helping victims of crime in the Czech republic. The organization is at the same time the coordinator of the project. It cooperates with other organizations. Two partners were involved in the first phase (research, campaign, launching DONA help line) of the project - BKB and PM ČR. These organizations founded a core team to coordinate the project; it consists of three representatives - BKB, PM CR and PR agency. Core team has been working non-stop since 2000 with regular monthly meetings. In the second phase of the project (pilot project in Ostrava which is checking new practice, opening DONA centre, founding Alliance against domestic violence, starting work of Experts group. National congress) regional organizations joined the project (state police, municipal police, social services of the city of Ostrava, health care centres, NGOs in Ostrava - interdisciplinary team was established) influential personalities joined the project as partners (politicians, representatives of state and regional politics), experts entered the project (lawyers, psychologists). In the third phase other partners access (municipalities from 14 regions and the capital Prague), who will cooperate with core team on the dissemination of the pilot project from Ostrava aimed at new practice in the whole country, the Police presidium and the Home Office become partners (for new methodology and policemen training), Ministry of Health become partners (new methodology for doctors and health care staff). This phase expects cooperation in promoting new law and its implementation into practice at the national level. According to the new law state will be involved in the process, municipalities and specialized NGOs. Know how belongs to Bily kruh bezpeci, whose members are the authors of the complex solution. The leading social investor is Philip Morris a.s. In the third year of its activity the project gained further support from the state budget, from the budget of the region and in 2004 also from the EU funds. The pilot project changed the attitude of the public and the enforcement of practice, the subjects involved in the interdisciplinary team took a specialized training, they use a common terminology, they know both the limits of their workplace and the limits of the cooperating organizations, the employees are equipped with simple manuals for contact with the cases of domestic violence. The representatives of the mentioned institutions may give information about the project on the level of Moravskoslezsky kraj as well as on the national level.
State as well as all the regions in the Czech republic is interested in dissemination of the model new practice. The proposal of the new bill (prepared by the Expert Group within this project) is prepared for the first reading in the Parliament. Realization team approves the 4th phase of the project aimed at its evaluation. Organizations from abroad are also interested in adopting the model. Pilot project Interdisciplinary cooperation will be evaluated together with DONA centre (intervention centre model) in the Czech republic. The dissemination of the project from Moravskoslezsky kraj (Ostrava) to Severocesky kraj (Usti nad Labem) is guaranteed, later to all the other regions. The evaluation is part of the 4th phase of the project, which starts in January 2005. Within the project there will be organized training for police tutors, judges, lecture marathon for social workers in regions, all this in 2005. The Association of marriage counselling centres will become a new partner, they will be involved in building intervention centres in the country. Bily kruh bezpeci as the coordinator guarantees the evaluation. An independent project was made for this phase, within which agreements about cooperation were closed with new partners at the level of another region. Another NGO - Spirala - enters the project as a partner - at the level of a new region. The project results in the model of the interdisciplinary cooperation at the level of the region / city as it is described in the manual. The model solves system approach in cases of domestic violence within the existing legal norms and is prepared for the change of the norms. The model prepares new practice, which will be able to implement the new law for protection from domestic violence. It is assumed that the new law will become effective during 2005, with the effective date in 2006. Simple and effective procedures for single professions, which are in contact with domestic violence at different stages, are handled in the model. The model introduces a new type of a workplace - intervention centre -, which will work as a low threshold specialized centre. Intervention centre provides intervention services for victims of domestic violence and has the function of coordinator of local interdisciplinary cooperation including monitoring. The domestic violence project proposes a new bill, within which a national network of new workplaces will arise - intervention centres. Fulfilling of the projects´ goals has been successful. The only problem is rapid increase of interest in the project and limited capacities of the coordinator and their partners (the number of lecturers, time consumption, room for trainings). In the first phase it is necessary to work with the first qualified team, which will educate new tutors.
For more information please check www.domacinasili.cz
Alliance against Domestic violence
BKB founded this Alliance in October 2002 with the aim to change practice and legislation concerning domestic violence in the Czech Republic. Prime minister of the Czech government and two vice-chairmen of the Parliament are members of the Alliance together with other four experts.
Alliance against Domestic Violence
BKB realized a pilot project of interdisciplinary cooperation of helping professionals which is now being spread in the whole Czech Republic.
Alliance against Domestic Violence
has worked out a complete amendment of laws concerning domestic violence which is now under discussion in the Parliament of the Czech Republic.
Alliance against Domestic Violence
has organized many informative and educational campaigns for general and professional public.
Alliance against Domestic Violence
is prepared to pass on its know-how to other European countries.
Projects DONA helpline and Alliance against Domestic Violence are realized with the financial support of the company Philip Morris Czech Republic as projects of corporation social responsibility in the Czech Republic.