The European Union and the Council of Europe, together with the Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Services, Ministry of Justice and Justice Academy of Turkey, are revising and developing new training programmes and materials on preventing and combating violence against women for key professionals in Turkey. These include judges and prosecutors, law enforcement officers (police and gendarmerie), social workers and judicial support officers.
As stated by The Group of Experts on Action against Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (GREVIO), systemic initial and in-service training covering all forms of violence against women is important to equip public officials with necessary skills and knowledge to better deal with those cases and address the needs of victims. Based on the findings of GREVIO in its evaluation report to Turkey, complemented by online need assessment meetings on 24–30 June 2020 with international and national experts, partner institutions and civil society, specialised training programmes and materials will be produced for each professional group in line with the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (the Istanbul Convention). Training programmes will use participatory training methodologies. Topics such as gender equality, protection of victims through effective risk assessment and safety planning, as well as multi-agency co-operation will be addressed in these training programmes.
Gökçe Bahar Öztürk, representative of Ministry of Justice, said “we are planning to increase the number of judicial support officers and to provide specialised support services to victims throughout legal proceedings under our Directorates and judicial interview rooms. In this context, developing a specialised training programme and a handbook for judicial support officers on how to approach and support women victims of violence, including victims of sexual violence, would be very useful.”
Trainings will start in person or online as from the first quarter of 2021 based on newly developed programmes and materials.
The action “Fostering a comprehensive institutional response to violence against women and domestic violence in Turkey” is a part of the joint European Union/Council of Europe programme “Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Turkey 2019-2022”.