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Slovenia to Improve Protection of Domestic Violence Victims

06.03.2015 14:44
Category: work and news

Slovenia is to overhaul the act on prevention of domestic violence and the penal code so as to provide better protection for the victims of domestic violence, experts said at a conference on Friday.

"Restraining orders are not effective enough and victims, not the perpetrators, are still the ones leaving their homes," noted Martina Vuk, a state secretary at the Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities.

"Stalking should be defined as a criminal act so that the perpetrators can be prosecuted and served restraining orders," Vuk told some 120 participants, mostly prosecutors, judges and others who provide expert services to violence victims.

The Labour Ministry has already decided to tackle the needed changes to the 2008 act on the prevention of domestic violence, while the Justice Ministry is to draft changes to the penal code.

The Justice Ministry intends to change the code so that victims who receive threats would no longer have to file civil suits against perpetrators, as the act of making a threat would be automatically prosecuted. The ministry moreover intends to think about criminalising stalking.

Deputy State Prosecutor General Mirko Vrtačnik said that more than 1,500 cases of domestic violence were reported last year, 500 indictments were filed and just over 390 persons were found guilty of domestic violence-related crimes.

Human Rights Ombudsman Vlasta Nussdorfer called for better prevention and help for the perpetrators, otherwise they continue to stalk their victim or find another one.

She believes that perpetrators should be required to undergo a social skills training, which is now provided on a voluntary basis.

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