Summer 2021 Update from White Circle Croatia

Statistics

During the months of May and June 2021, we recorded 90 users, of which 58 users requested psychosocial support, and 32 free legal counseling services. In the same period in 2020, a similar trend was recorded of 93 users who requested our services. An interesting fact is the significant increase in the need for psychosocial support compared to legal counseling services over the last few months.

 

“Protection of victims’ rights – where we are and where we should be” – Interdepartmental expert conference in Split

On May 13, 2021, the Association for Victim Assistance “White Circle of Croatia” organized an interdepartmental professional conference entitled “Protection of victims’ rights – where we are and where we should be” at the Faculty of Law in Split.

The conference is part of the activities of the project “Cross Violence” funded by a grant from the European Social Fund.

As guest lecturers, the conference was attended by eminent experts in the field of prevention and suppression of domestic violence:

Dubravka Šimonović, UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women with the topic “State Responsibility for the Prevention and Suppression of Pandemics of Gender-Based Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (including Interaction with the Crown Virus Pandemic – COVID 19) under the Istanbul Convention and the UN CEDAW Convention”

Dr.sc. Dean Ajduković, Department of Social Psychology, Faculty of Philosophy Osijek, with the topic “The importance of psychosocial treatment and rehabilitation of perpetrators in the prevention of further domestic violence”

– Prof. dr. sc. Marina Ajduković, Study Center for Social Work, Faculty of Law, Zagreb, with the topic “Effectiveness of the support system for victims of domestic violence – practical experiences and recommendations”

Education for professionals in working with victims of violence

On May 14, 2021, , the “White Circle” organized an interdepartmental training for experts in working with victims. Training was held at the Faculty of Law in Split and was attended by 17 participants.

The education of experts who meet victims in their field of work is also one of the activities carried out by the Croatian White Circle Victim Assistance Association within the project “Cross Violence.

The training was conducted in an interactive way, including exercises on practical examples, and the conductor was a judge of the Municipal Court in Split and an advisor at the High Criminal Court, Ms. Ivana Bilušić.

Given the frequent problems that occur in practice during the handling of cases of violence, especially domestic violence, the training covered the following topics:

  • Manifestations of domestic violence
  • The practice of double arrests
  • Proper qualification of illegal behavior of perpetrators of domestic violence
  • Treatment of victims of domestic violence
  • Punishing perpetrators – the practice of probation

Watch a short video about the training at the following link: https://www.facebook.com/BijeliKrugHrvatske/videos/507391850414756/

“Effectiveness of the support system for victims of violence – practical experiences and recommendations” – Conference with education in Vukovar

Together with the partner organization Association for Victim and Witness Support Vukovar, May 26, 2021. we organized a conference with education on “The effectiveness of the support system for victims of violence”. The conference with education was held in the Srijem Palace in Vukovar.

The conference was attended by lecturers in the field of prevention and suppression of domestic violence, as well as those in the field of law, social work and psychology.

We gathered various stakeholders of Vukovar-Srijem County who meet and help victims of violence in their work. It was an exceptional opportunity to connect and exchange knowledge and experiences.

Ask the Counselor

“I AM 45 YEARS OLD AND I LIVE WITH MY HUSBAND AND THREE CHILDREN. TWO ARE ADULTS WHILE THE YOUNGEST DAUGHTER IS A MINOR. HUSBAND HAS BEEN HARASSING ME FROM THE BEGINNING OF MARRIAGE. AT FIRST IT WAS AN INSULT AND HUMILIATION, AND IN THE LAST FEW YEARS, HE STARTED SLAPPING ME OFTEN. HE NEVER ALLOWED ME TO WORK. I CAN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE. I DECIDED TO DIVORCE, BUT I DON’T KNOW HOW IT ALL WORKS AND WHAT I NEED TO DO. PLEASE HELP ME.”

Divorce proceedings can be initiated by a mutual request, if husband and wife agree to divorce, and by a divorce lawsuit if only one of them wants a divorce. Certainly, if two of them have minor children together, they are obliged to initiate the procedure of obligatory counseling in the Center for Social Welfare before initiating the procedure for divorce.

The procedure of obligatory counseling is a form of helping family members to make consensual decisions about family relationships by taking special care to protect the family relationships in which the child participates. The members of the professional team acquaint the husband and wife with the content of the Form of the Joint Parental Care Plan and provide them with assistance in achieving and compiling. If no agreement is reached, the parties are referred to the possibility of proceeding with the family mediation procedure.

After the procedure, the members of the expert team are obliged to prepare a report on the obligatory counseling and submit it to the parties that participated in the process. The report is valid for six months from the day the procedure was completed.