Home » Joint Programmes » Preventing Domestic Violence [2010-2012]

Preventing Domestic Violence [2010-2012]

The United Nations Joint Programme “Strengthening National Capacities to Prevent Domestic Violence” was implemented by UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF, WHO and UN Women, with financial support from the Government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the United Nations Trust Fund to End Violence against Women. The Programme was successfully completed in August 2012.

Domestic violence is a crime. Everyone has the right to live a full and secure life. Violence in the home takes that away. This type of violence affects children, in some cases the elderly, but chiefly women experience it on regular basis. Yet, many of them suffer in silence – not realizing their legal rights or that help is available.

Anyone who comes forward can and should expect an appropriate range of coordinated services—from medical to legal aid—no matter in which town or to which institution they report the crime. The UN Joint Programme “Strengthening National Capacities to Prevent Domestic Violence” supported the country’s Government and civil society to improve their coordination and strengthen their capacity for the prevention of domestic violence and the provision of adequate victim support services. It did so by improving national policy, victim support, and public understanding. The hope is that standardized and efficient responses, alongside better public awareness, will, in turn, reduce domestic violence in the country.

See the Activities under the Programme

 

Skopje Region

  • Counselling centres for families at risk have been established in: Centar.
  • Counselling centres for perpetrators have been established in: Centar.
  • The Programme is working on community outreach and helping to establish Local Coordinative Bodies in: Centar, Karpoš.
  • The Programme is promoting networking among civil society organizations in: Skopje.
  • The Programme is supporting legal aid centres in: Skopje.
  • A local SOS line has been established in: Centar, Karpoš.
  • The Programme is supporting the economic empowerment of victims in: Skopje.
  • Local authorities, who are often the first responders to victims, have received training in: Gazi Baba, Gjorče Petrov.
  • Local-level campaigns have been supported in: Gazi Baba, Gjorče Petrov.
  • Norhteastern Region

  • The Programme is working on community outreach and helping to establish Local Coordinative Bodies in: Kratovo, Kriva Palanka, Kumanovo, Lipkovo, Rankovce, Staro Nagoričane.
  • The Programme is promoting networking among civil society organizations in: Kumanovo.
  • The Programme is supporting legal aid centres in: Kumanovo.
  • A local SOS line has been established in: Kratovo, Kriva Palanka, Kumanovo, Lipkovo, Rankovce, Staro Nagoričane.
  • The Programme is supporting the economic empowerment of victims in: Kumanovo.
  • Local authorities, who are often the first responders to victims, have received training in: Kumanovo.
  • Local-level campaigns have been supported in: Kumanovo.
  • Eastern Region

  • The Programme is working on community outreach and helping to establish Local Coordinative Bodies in: Delčevo, Karbinci, Probištip, Štip, Sveti Nikole.
  • The Programme is promoting networking among civil society organizations in: Štip, Sveti Nikole.
  • The Programme is supporting legal aid centres in: Štip, Sveti Nikole.
  • Southeastern Region

  • The Programme is working on community outreach and helping to establish Local Coordinative Bodies in: Strumica.
  • The Programme is promoting networking among civil society organizations in: Strumica.
  • A local SOS line has been established in: Strumica.
  • Vardar Region

  • The Programme is working on community outreach and helping to establish Local Coordinative Bodies in: Kavadarci, Rosoman.
  • The Programme is supporting legal aid centres in: Kavadarci, Veles.
  • The Programme is supporting the economic empowerment of victims in: Kavadarci.
  • Local authorities, who are often the first responders to victims, have received training in: Kavadarci.
  • Local-level campaigns have been supported in: Kavadarci.
  • Pelagonia Region

  • The Programme is working on community outreach and helping to establish Local Coordinative Bodies in: Dolneni, Krivogaštani.
  • The Programme is promoting networking among civil society organizations in: Bitola.
  • The Programme is supporting legal aid centres in: Krivogaštani.
  • A local SOS line has been established in: Dolneni, Krivogaštani.
  • The Programme is supporting the economic empowerment of victims in: Bitola.
  • Local authorities, who are often the first responders to victims, have received training in: Bitola.
  • Local-level campaigns have been supported in: Bitola.
  • Southwestern Region

  • The Programme is working on community outreach and helping to establish Local Coordinative Bodies in: Debar, Kičevo, Ohrid, Oslomej, Struga, Vevčani, Vraneštica, Zajas.
  • The Programme is promoting networking among civil society organizations in: Kičevo.
  • A local SOS line has been established in: Debar, Kičevo, Oslomej.
  • Polog Region

  • The Programme is working on community outreach and helping to establish Local Coordinative Bodies in: Bogovinje, Brvenica, Gostivar, Jegunovce, Tearce, Tetovo, Vrapčište, Želino.
  • The Programme is promoting networking among civil society organizations in: Tetovo, Bogovinje.
  • The Programme is supporting legal aid centres in: Tetovo.
  • A local SOS line has been established in: Bogovinje, Brvenica.
  • The Programme is supporting the economic empowerment of victims in: Tetovo.
  • Local authorities, who are often the first responders to victims, have received training in: Tetovo.
  • Local-level campaigns have been supported in: Tetovo.
  • Ohrid Lake

    Lake Ohrid (Macedonian: Охридско Езеро, Ohridsko Ezero; Albanian: Liqeni i Ohrit or Liqeni i Pogradecit) straddles the mountainous border between the southwestern Republic of Macedonia and eastern Albania. It is one of Europe's deepest and oldest lakes, preserving a unique aquatic ecosystem with more than 200 endemic species that is of worldwide importance. The importance of the lake was further emphasized when it was declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1979 and when, in 2010, NASA decided to name one of Titan's lakes after Lake Ohrid.

    Prespa Lake

    Prespa is the name of two freshwater lakes in southeast Europe, shared by Greece, Albania, and the Republic of Macedonia. Of the total surface area, 190 km² belongs to the Republic of Macedonia, 84.8 km² to Greece and 38.8 km² to Albania. They are the highest tectonic lakes in the Balkans, standing at an altitude of 853 m (2,798 ft). The Great Prespa Lake (Macedonian: Преспанско Езеро, Prespansko Ezero, Greek: Μεγάλη Πρέσπα, Limni Megáli Préspa, Albanian: Liqeni i Prespes) is divided between Albania, Greece and the Republic of Macedonia. The Small Prespa Lake (Greek: Μικρή Πρέσπα, Limni Mikrá Prespa; Albanian: Prespa e Vogël) is shared only between Greece (138 km² drainage area; 43.5 km² surface area) and Albania (51 km² drainage area; 3.9 km² surface area).
    In the 10th century, the tsar Samuil built the fortress and church of St. Achillius on an island called Agios Achillios in the Small Prespa Lake, on the Greek side of the border. The biggest island in the Great Prespa Lake, on the Republic of Macedonia's side, is called Golem Grad ("Large Town"), and Snake Island (Zmiski Ostrov). The other island Mal Grad (Small Town, in Albania) is the site of a ruined 14th century monastery dedicated to St. Peter. Today, both islands are uninhabited. Because Great Prespa Lake sits about 150m above Lake Ohrid, which lies only about 10 km (6 miles) to the west, its waters run through underground channels in the karst and emerge from springs which feed streams running into Lake Ohrid.
    For many years, the Greek part of the Prespa Lakes region was an underpopulated, military sensitive area which required special permission for outsiders to visit. It saw fierce fighting during the Greek Civil War and much of the local population subsequently emigrated to escape endemic poverty and political strife. The region remained little developed until the 1970s, when it began to be promoted as a tourist destination. With an abundance of rare fauna and flora, the area was declared a Transnational Park in 2000. The area contains four National Parks located in Albania, Greece, and Republic of Macedonia.
    The largest town in the Prespa Lakes region is Resen in the Republic of Macedonia.

    Dojran Lake

    Dojran Lake (Macedonian: Доjранско Езеро, Dojransko Ezero; Greek: Λίμνη Δοϊράνη, Límni Doïráni) is a lake with an area of 43.1 km² shared between the Republic of Macedonia (27.3 km²) and West Macedonia within Greek Macedonia, Greece (15.8 km²). To the west is the city of Nov Dojran (Нов Дојран), to the east the village of Mouries, to the north the mountain Belasica/Beles and to the south the Greek town of Doirani. The lake has a rounded shape, a maximum depth of 10 m and a north-to-south length of 8.9 km and is 7.1 km at its widest, making it the third largest lake partially in the Republic of Macedonia after Lake Ohrid and Lake Prespa.

    SUPPORT TO IMPROVED NATIONAL POLICY

    • The Programme provided continuous technical support to the National Coordinating Body on Domestic Violence which is tasked to coordinate and monitor the implementation of the country’s National Domestic Violence Strategy. Thanks to this support, the Body adopted rules of procedure that helped maintain regular activity, produced annual progress reports on the implementation of the Strategy and endorsed one general and five sectorial protocols (social, policy, health, education and civil society protocol), which helped the line institutions   to develop a better joint approach for tackling domestic violence  cases.
    • The Programme also sought to improve national policies by overcoming the existing data gap in monitoring domestic violence incidence, prevalence and trends. The first-ever country-wide baseline household survey for prevalence and incidence of domestic violence, conducted as part of the Programme, will be a key element of monitoring the success of future efforts to reduce domestic violence. Its findings served as solid grounds for the new National Strategy on Prevention of Domestic Violence (2012-2015) which was adopted and received with high appreciation by all key local and national stakeholders that took part in its development.
    • Another survey conducted within the project aimed at improving governmental policies and programmes was the survey on the prevalence, forms and risk factors of elder abuse. Thanks to the support of the World Health Organization (WHO), the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy (MLSP) and the Ministry  of Health (MoH), 960  elderly people aged 65 and over living in private households in different regions, (530 women and 430 men), took part in this comprehensive survey. Results show that the prevalence of elder abuse in this population is high. One in four (around 25 per cent) elderly people who took part in the survey have experienced psychological abuse and more than one in eight (12 per cent) have experienced financial abuse.  Around seven per cent of the population reported to have been victims of neglect,  while around six per cent have experienced physical abuse. Elderly women with low education from low-income households, as well as those who are physically weak or intellectually impaired, are most vulnerable to abuse.  The survey identified the need for a comprehensive strategy for elder abuse prevention, involving multisectoral action from the healthcare, social and justice sector.
    • In addition, The Programme supported the Government to initiate the alignment of the country’s legislation with the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence. With Programme’s support, the National Coordinating Body on Domestic Violence conducted two comprehensive assessments on the alignment of the national domestic violence legislation with the provisions of the Convention.

    ASSISTANCE TO IMPROVE SUPPORT TO VICTIMS

    • Preventing domestic violence is a complex issue which calls for a multifaceted approach: - one that involves both national and local government institutions which are tasked to improve the national response, and the judiciary, the police and civil society organizations which are responsible for providing protection and support to domestic violence victims. By adopting such an approach, the Programme ensured that police officers, social workers, judges and public prosecutors and service providers have the necessary knowledge and resources to tackle domestic violence cases. The introduction of the internationally recognized model for multi-agency cooperation for high risk domestic violence cases improved coordination between service providers responsible for protecting victims of domestic violence in 31 municipalities.
    • The Programme also conducted roundtables in eight target municipalities on improving local level cooperation in criminal and civil domestic violence court proceedings. Thanks to this initiative, a manual for dealing with domestic violence cases for police officers, social workers, judges and prosecutors was developed and 2000 copies were distributed.
    • Support services for domestic violence victims need to ensure safety, address victims’ practical needs and enable them to overcome the multiple consequences of violence so that they can rebuild their lives and relationships. Standardized quality of service provision, therefore, was essential for the success of the Programme. Five sectoral and one umbrella service provision protocols were developed and endorsed by the National Coordinating Body on Domestic Violence. The Programme distributed the protocols (in hard copy and on CD rom) among direct service providers in the country. In addition, training modules for each line sector on the implementation of the protocols were developed as part of the Programme.
    • In 2010, 2011, and 2012, in collaboration with the Medical Associations of Psychiatrist, General Practitioners, Gynecologists, Emergency Doctors, Pediatricians  and National Association of Nurses and Midwifes, capacity building trainings were organized in 2011 with the Medical Pediatric Association and in 2012 with the Medical Association of Nurses and Midwives. around 2380 medical doctors and 160 nurses and midwifes  learnt how to apply the guidelines for working with victims of domestic violence.  Doctors and nurses were trained to identify and prevent domestic violence in the health sector,  to support domestic violence victims.
    • To ensure that domestic violence victims are adequately protected, the project improved the availability and quality of free legal aid services provided by specialized CSOs by developing and piloting a set of standards for legal aid providers developed in line with the Council of Europe Guiding Principles for support services to victims of domestic violence. Legal aid centers in key country locations assisted 617 victims in 2010 and 2011, with 192 cases represented in civil or criminal court procedures.
    • As of May 2012, all professionals dealing with domestic violence cases have a practical and user-friendly Guidebook for dealing with cases of domestic violence. This Guidebook was produced by the Academy of Judges and Public Prosecutors, as a result of a series of 8 trainings on dealing with domestic violence cases, attended by over 160 professionals from the Ministry of Interior, the social sector, judges and public prosecutors.
    • The establishment of three shelter centres in the regions of Skopje, Pelagonia, and Vardar ensured that victims of domestic violence are offered a safe haven if required to leave their homes.
    • In order to increase local level engagement in prevention efforts, ten local community bodies were established and trained on prevention and community outreach mechanisms. CSO-supported community outreach and behaviour change programmes at the local level further contributed to awareness-raising among the population and to higher levels of reported cases.
    • Through the mechanism for economic empowerment of victims, 57 victims of domestic violence gained financial independence. Some of them established their own business, ranging from hairdressing to tailoring, others got subsidized employment, and many improved their professional qualifications. Victims also received adequate psychosocial support to overcome trauma and plan better futures. The Economic Empowerment programme has been part of the Government’s Operational Labour Plan for 2011, including 3 active labour market measures (self-employment, subsidized employment and vocational trainings).
    • Romani women (victims of domestic violence and potential victims) were given the opportunity to present their life stories and fight against the violence in the family through participation in a Documentary movie “The Future Today” that promotes economic opportunities for Romani women and informs on available social protection services in the country with follow up movie presentations and discussions in 13 target municipalities.

    DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AWARENESS AND PREVENTION: IN LOCAL COMMUNITIES, SCHOOLS AND UNIVERSITIES

    • Awareness-raising campaigns and community initiatives are among the most powerful tools that can prevent domestic violence. The combined implementation of national awareness-raising campaigns with NGO-run community outreach programmes has contributed significantly towards raising the public awareness of domestic violence as an alarming problem as well as improving coordination mechanisms and determination among local governance structures, NGO’s and service providers to adequately address this problem and hence reduce its incidence.
    • Community outreach behavior change programmes targeting most at risk communities and public education campaigns were implemented in 34 municipalities.
    • To say ‘No’ to domestic violence, the Programme empowered sixteen women from different ethnic and professional backgrounds to communicate a unified message. The campaign products reached a record-breaking number of people through distribution of info brochures, posters, banners as well as promotional clips aired on national and local radio and TV stations.
    • Another key achievement of this Joint Programme is the launch of the first national network bringing together 24 civil society organizations working on ending violence against women and domestic violence. Established in 2010 and formally registered in 2011, the ‘National CSO Network to end Violence against Women’ created a detailed capacity development plan and conducted tailor-made advocacy and lobbying trainings for its members, organized fund-raising initiatives as well as domestic violence prevention and awareness-raising activities. This ensured the sustainability of the Network which has become one of the key stakeholders contributing to domestic violence activities and policies in the country.
    • The Joint Programme also initiated awareness-raising and prevention trainings and activities in schools and universities across the country. A national “Schools free of Violence” communication for development (C4D) initiative was also implemented thanks to this Joint Programme. Some 8,000 youth were actively engaged in the campaign (through participation in different phases: song competition; video competition, flash mobs in 16 cities, media products).
    • A protocol for identification, treatment and referral of cases of violence in schools was developed as a practical tool which will enable schools to identify cases of violence, implement standard procedures and ensure proper referral to other relevant institutions.
    • Around sixty university professors from the:  Medical Faculty, Faculty of Psychology, Faculty of Pedagogy, Police Academy, Faculty of Gender Studies, Faculty of Social Work, Faculty of Law, Medical Faculty for Nurses and Midwifes  were trained on the ‘TEACH VIP’ domestic violence module. Guidelines for integration on domestic violence at university level were developed and translated as a result of this activity. 

     

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