EU Project on More Effective Protection of Women Victims of Violence Ends

By 16 December 2019

ZAGREB, December 16, 2019 - Speaking in Zagreb on Monday at a closing press conference for an EU-funded project that dealt with effective protection of women victims of violence, Gender Equality Ombudswoman Višnja Ljubičić said that about 1,200 final court rulings that had been analysed in the last two years revealed all the weaknesses of the system.

"More has been done in the two years of this project than in the last 20 years. About 1,200 final court rulings have been analysed, both in criminal and misdemeanour cases, because we wanted to know what our penal policy is like, how we process the perpetrators and whether the victims are sufficiently protected. The results have shown that unfortunately the victims are not protected enough," Ljubičić said.

Ljubičić said that the victims were not satisfied with conditional sentences, which account for nearly 80 percent of misdemeanour cases, with amounts of fines or with the treatment of double jeopardy.

Maja Mamula, the coordinator of the Women's Room - Centre for Sexual Rights, said that there was not enough political will in Croatia to improve the protection of women against violence.

"In Croatia, femicide has been on the decline over the last few years, but each case of a murdered woman shows that we have a serious problem," Mamula said. She noted that most of the women were killed by their present or former partner, "which shows that the femicide was preceded by things that can be easily recognised and can serve as a signpost for change."

In 80 percent of cases, a woman's murder was preceded by physical violence, and in 70 percent of cases such violence had existed before. In over 60 percent of cases, a firearm was already present in the family and the perpetrators already threatened the victim, and in over 50 percent of cases the victim believed the perpetrator was capable of using violence.

A conference on femicide was held on the occasion of the conclusion of the EU project.

More news about the status of women in Croatia can be found in the Lifestyle section.