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The crucial role of risk assessment in protecting victims in cases of violence against women and domestic violence in Turkey

Ankara 31/05/2021
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The crucial role of risk assessment in protecting victims in cases of violence against women and domestic violence in Turkey

A new report, titled “Assessing and managing risks in cases of violence against women and domestic violence: Strengthening risk assessments, the risk-management system and inter-agency co-ordination in Turkey”, has been published. It analyses regulatory framework and practices related to risk assessment by law enforcement in cases of violence against women in Turkey. As they are entry points to the criminal justice system, law enforcement authorities have a critical role to ensure protection of victims and to provide evidence to hold perpetrators accountable.

The report examines the full cycle of the response of law enforcement to cases of violence against women and domestic violence from the moment of case registration to risk assessment, safety planning as well as referrals of victims to support services. It provides recommendations for short, medium and longer-term adjustments to the current risk assessment and management system in light of international norms and good-practice standards.

The report recommends a risk management system that caters to all victims, not only high-risk cases. All risk procedures should adopt a human-rights based, victim-centred, gender-sensitive approach. Within this approach, protocols should be developed to interview victims and provide them with guidance and should take into account child victims. The assessment of risks should be carried out continuously and be updated periodically; in addition, a range of preventive measures should be available to restrain violent perpetrators and multiple agencies should be involved. Safety plans elaborated for victims should be personalised, realistic, holistic and supported by the victim’s community.

The report was developed upon information presented by participants during a two-day workshop titled “Strengthening Risk Assessment and Safety Planning Capacities of Law Enforcement in Turkey: Revision of Case Registration Form” held on 5-6 October 2020, in partnership with the Ministry of Interior and UNFPA in Turkey and with the participation of representatives from the Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Services, police and gendarmerie.

The report and the event were developed as part of the Action entitled Fostering a comprehensive institutional response to violence against women and domestic violence in Turkey”, implemented under the European Union and Council of Europe’s joint “Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Turkey 2019-2022”.

The report is available in English and Turkish.