Final Reports on National Campaign action carried out within the framework of
the Council of Europe Campaign to Combat Violence against Women,
including Domestic Violence
In Montenegro, domestic violence is penalised by the Criminal Code Article 220 (Violence in the Family or Family Community) which in the first paragraph says: “Anyone who by use of violence or by an impudent or arrogant behaviour endangers peace, physical integrity or mental condition of a member of his family or family community shall be sentenced to a fine or imprisonment not exceeding one year.”
Ministry of Justice is currently working on drafting the Law on Protection from Violence in the Family in cooperation with Governmental Office for Gender Equality and women NGOs, and this law is expected to be adopted soon. The work on finding the best solutions what should the law contain to appropriately protect victims of domestic violence was intensified during the Council of Europe Campaign. This is confirmed by organised seminars which are described below.
Memorandum of cooperation has been signed in five municipalities and in that way multidisciplinary teams of all relevant institutions have been established (police departments, courts, prosecution, centres for social work, health institutions and local administration).
In cooperation with the Ministry of Interior and Secondary School of Interior Affairs in Danilovgrad, the topic of “Domestic violence” was introduced as a school subject, i.e. as a part of the curriculum within mandatory training for employed police officers. With respect to the training of other institutions we can say that since 2001, NGOs have been organizing educative seminars on domestic violence for officials in the police, court, prosecution, health care, centres for social welfare and local authority.
In the Draft National Action Plan for Achievement of Gender Equality prepared by the Governmental Gender Equality Office (to be adopted by Government in the upcoming months) one specific area deals with the violence against woman issue and envisages significant activities in this regard.
Montenegro campaign was focused on awareness raising activities, described as following:
Participating in the Council of Europe Campaign on Combating Violence against Women and in the global campaign "16 Days of Activism on Gender Based Violence", the Gender Equality Office of the Government of Montenegro organised the open competition for children from 10 to 15 years old from Montenegro entitled "Stop Violence against Women". Children were expected to send paintings on above mentioned theme. 1239 painting arrived during the open competition. The Office formed the Commission with the task to select the paintings and award them with: first, second and third award, award for the best school collection, and the award for the teacher. The Commission performed its work and beside envisaged awards, 273 paintings of pupils from 25 schools were chose to be exhibited. The Exhibition was opened on 25 November 2007, in the capital Podgorica. Commission, beside these works, selected 24 paintings that appear on the Office calendars for 2008. Information about the campaign is available on the web page of the Gender Equality Office on the following link:
http://www.vlada.cg.yu/eng/gender/vijesti.php?akcija=vijesti&id=152368. Attached are the posters of first and second award as well as the catalogue for the exhibition.
This event was very well covered in media and visible in the public.
Besides this activity, the Office translated the TV Spot of the Campaign and in cooperation with National Television it was broadcasted free of charge during the campaign. Also, the TV spot was broadcasted on three private televisions during the 16 days campaign.
Gender Equality Office, during the Campaign, in cooperation with SOS Telephone Podgorica and Ombudsperson organised Regional Conference entitled “Institutional Mechanisms of Protection from Domestic Violence and their Implementation”. The aim of the conference is the exchange of experience in the area of positive practice and legislative in the field of protection from domestic violence. After the conference the publication was planned to be issued containing the information and results from the conference that will represent the base of information significant for all important factors in the area of human rights protection. Special emphasise at the conference was how to make the Law on Protection from Domestic Violence good and how to find the best solution to protect the victim.
Gender Equality Office and UNDP Office in Montenegro organised the seminar “Stop Violence against Women”. The aim of the seminar was mobilisation of the support of political, expert and wider public in order to direct future activities towards long-termed solving of this problem through:
- ensuring the political support and commitment to solving the problem;
- improvement of legal framework and multidisciplinary approach;
- development of cooperation among relevant institutions at all levels.
All above mentioned activities contributed to better understanding of the problem of domestic violence and more visibility in the public. Talking about this issue in the public, altogether with many TV shows dedicated to this issue, very much strengthens women to report the violence.
Assessment of the impact of the Council of Europe Campaign
The Task Force will partly base its assessment of the impact of the Council of Europe Campaign to combat Violence against Women, including Domestic Violence on the following indicators. Please respond by ticking on the boxes.
Criminal Code criminalises any act of violence against the member of the family.
2. Is violence committed by a partner or former partner punished more severely than violence among strangers (eg. gender based violence as such or the abuse of power will be considered an aggravating circumstance)?
It is the same in the law.
3. Are victims enabled to seek justice in a human manner (eg. specialised courts on domestic violence, specialised units within the police, the public prosecutor or the judiciary)?
There is a special unit in the Police that deals with domestic violence. In Centres for Social Care there are multidisciplinary teams that are dealing with this issue.
4. Does a national emergency 24/7 help-line exist free of charge for victims of domestic violence in your country?
In our country there is only one emergency help line where all cases are reported and not only the help line for victims of domestic violence.
5. Have safe shelters been set up for victims of domestic violence in an adequate ratio in your member state? 1
In Montenegro, there is one shelter for victims of domestic violence in the capital and the other in the north.
6. Is administrative data being collected on victims of domestic violence?
Police and judiciary collect data on domestic violence. Courts do not systematically collect data but only according to the individual cases. Health care institutions don’ collect data.
7. Is domestic violence considered as a human rights violation to be addressed in your legal system?
It exists in the Law on Gender Equality which is adopted by the Parliament of Montenegro in July 2007.