In accordance with the Council of Europe Campaign to Combat Violence against Women, including domestic Violence, in Romania it has been launched a National Campaign, 2006-2008, in which were involved many governmental structures, Local and Regional Authorities, Romanian Parliament and many other actors. The majority of actions organized in all 41 counties of Romania has been initiate by National Agency for Family Protection, NGO`s and local administration. Preventing and combating violence against women occuring in the family or domestic unit has been the main theme of the governmental campaign actions under the logo, Stop Violence against women, inluding domestic violence.
The National Agency for Family Protection (NAFP), as specialized body of Ministry of Labor Family and Equal Opportunities, for preventing and combating domestic violence on national level was directly involved in the mainly of actions: to change law, to protect the victims, to develop the legal instruments and to monitor and to collect statistical data, and not least to stimulate mass media for deeply implication in raising awareness into Romanian society by combating the violence against women and presenting the serious effects of violence against women, specialy in family field. In all this actions, mostly of them initiate by the National Agency for Family Protection, as governmental authority, in cooperation with Romanian Parliament, ministries, churches, civil society and other organisations, including the Council of Europe Information Office in Bucharest or, UNFDP, the participants were invited to denounce publicly all the commited acts of domestic violence, specialy against women and children. In media shows and in seminars thay developed specifics debates for finding eficient and innovative legal mesures to combat domestic violence and to change the attitude. How ever, in concret examples there was a number of issues involved, which cannot be solved only through some institutions as criminal policy or social structure, all leaders accepted that an effective combating of violence requires close co-operation with other central governmental authorities, local structures with responsibility in education, justice health, social welfare, spiritual life for changing not only civil attitude, but also to find solution and to adopt the measures and tu put the law in function. All this participants agreed that combating domestic violence calls for joint public action and special, juristic actions.
During this two years of Campaign to combat Violence against women, including domestic violence, messages such as ,,violence against women represent a serious human rights violation,, or ,,violence against women is a major obstacle for equal opportunities and rights between women and men as an unequal distribution of power,, were disseminate by tv and radio spots and through banners in all counties of Romania. In all our actions we had as theoretical and political base for all our initiatives and proposal during campaign, the documents of UN, EU, CoE particulary Council of Europe Recommendation Rec (2002)5 on the protection of women against violence, the first international legal instrument in the field. The campaign Blueprint drawn up by the Task Force was a very useful instrument for all our actions, too.
Concrete results of Campaign:
I. Legal and policy measures
1. Romanian Governmental Programme for the years 2005-2008, gives a special attention to action lines regarding preventing and combating family violence and violence against women .
In the framework of Governmental Programme, in 2005 there was adopted the National Strategy of preventing and combating domestic violence, which was approved through Governmental Decision no. 686/2005. The National Strategy outlines the direction and priorities in the field, and has in addendum an Action Plan for 2005-2007.
Presently Romania has a draft proposal for a new National Strategy for the years 2008-2013, including an Action Plan to preventing and combating domestic violence which has been approved during the Council of Europe Campaign by NGO`s and some representative structures and professional team with competence in the field. The new Strategy defines the basic principles, objectives and the strategy`s operational lines by incorporating the latest formulated measures toward smooth progression of the whole issue through constructive activities in accordance with European recommendations. The strategy outlines: the improvement of the legislative framework necessary for organizing and functioning of the social services system in the field of preventing and combating domestic violence; the reinforcement of the institutional capacity of central and local authorities to implement and develop programmes and social services for victims of domestic violence; the development of a culture of partnership and social solidarity in developing the policies of preventing and combating domestic violence at national level; making Romanian society responsible towards the problems of domestic violence; the participation and active involvement of the Romanian state in actions undertaken at an international level in the field of preventing and fighting against the domestic violence phenomenon.
2. In Romania the victims are protected by The Law 217/2003 on the prevention and combating of domestic violence.The National Agency for Family Protection amended this law by a new draft proposal which has as prevision that punishment of domestic violence must be consider as an offence according with the Penal Code. In same time the rellevant additions, amendments and changes were made in draft to the Penal Code according with the Law on the prevention and combating of domestic violence as it follows:
n making the domestic violence a criminal offence and including it in a distinct chapter of the Penal Code, with the support of the responsible institutions;
n setting up some special and urgent criminal procedures for the victims of the domestic violence;
n introducing the following protection measures in the Romanian legislation, that can be taken in the domestic violence offences:
ě the interdiction to stay or come again in the family house for a determined period;
ě the protection order: the interdiction to contact the victim or the members of her family, directly or indirectly;
ě the liability of a member of the family, who committed acts of domestic violence to participate to the psychological counseling and social reintegration programmes in the assistance centers for the family perpetrators;
ě the interdiction to get near the home place, work place, school or other places where the victim develops social activities, on the condition established by the Court.
Instead of the penalty punishment receiving the prison punishment, or instead execution of the penalty punishment performing work in the community interest - concerning the domestic violence offences
II. Support and protection for victims
1. In Romania, there are 53 shelters for domestic violence, of which 25 public, 15 public – private partnership and 13 private.
The capacity of the shelters rises up to 450 places for adult victims and their children.
There are also 37 counseling centers for domestic violence victims.
From 2006, there were established 5 centers family perpetrartors.
There are 1 place in a shelter for 48.500 inhabitants.
Description of the shelters:
n the centers for sheltering victims of domestic violence are social welfare units, with or without legal personality, and provide protection, accommodation, care taking and counselling to the victims of domestic violence forced to resort to this social welfare service.
n the reception of the victims to the shelter takes place only in emergency cases or upon written confirmation on the part of the family social worker, in the extreme event isolating the victim from the aggressor is required as safety measure. The family perpetrators are forbidden to enter the premises of the shelter where the victims are located.
n the isolation of the victims from their family perpetrators can be done only with the consent of the former or, if the case may be, of the legal representative.
n the shelters may be public, private or a public-private partnership, and are set up only with approval of the NAFP.
n public shelters are financed from local budgets.
n public shelters have to provide the victims and the underage children in their care, with the following services, for a determined period of time and free of charge: family assistance, protection against aggressor, medical care, food, accommodation, psychological and legal counselling, according to the agency organization and operation instructions.
n the private and public-private shelters can be set up only by the social service providers certified under the law.
During 2006/2008 NAFP has the necessary resources to develop the National Interest Programmes (adopted as Governmental Decision no.197/2006, in the field of specialized social services), for the establishment of 12 new shelters for the victims of the domestic violence, for the support of 6 existing shelters and for the development of 5 assistance centers for the family perpetrators, for the first time. So, by this moment, 23 projects are financed from the national budget
2. In order to accomplish the objective of the social inclusion growth and decreasing the bareness at the communities and vulnerable groups’ level, including the victims of the domestic violence, the most important initiative is represented by the Social Inclusion Project. It represents a project financed from a loan of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and co-financed by the Romania Government, according to the Project Appraisal Document no. 4825 RO between Romania and IBRD, and ratified by Law no. 40/2007. The project outlines the improvement of the living conditions and the social inclusion of the most disadvantaged/vulnerable people in the Romanian society. Social Assistance Programs, one of the SIP components, are addressed to the victims of domestic violence, the disabilities and youth at risk, and will be implemented by the Ministry of Labor, Family and Equal Opportunities. The National Agency for Family Protection is responsible for the “Victims of the domestic violence” Programme in order to establish a network of integrated prevention and assistance services for the victims of the domestic violence, to enhance the use of modern programme monitoring and evaluation instruments, to offer professional training for the staff that will provide counseling services and to implement public awareness campaigns.
III. The National Data Collection
1. As result of the protocols signed up at the county level, National Agency for Family Protection (NAFP) collects and updates a database of domestic violence cases, on the basis of the quarterly reports sent to the NAFP by the county compartments with attribution in the field of domestic violence, within the Directorates of Labor and Social Protection. Since 2004, the NAFP collected, updated and analyzed the database referring to the domestic violence in order to have a real image of the spread and evolution of this phenomenon. In this context, during 2004 – up to 2008, a number of 35.800 cases of domestic violence have been registered and a number of 540 deaths have been caused by the acts of domestic violence.
Conclusions from the gathered data:
n physical (56%) and psychological (24%) agression are the most frequent in domestic violence.
n 75% victims are female and 25% victims are male.
n from the female victims, only 30% are under 18 years old, in comparison with the male victims, of which 67% are under 18 years old.
n 56% victims are from the urban areas and 44% are from the rural areas.
n the incidence of domestic violence is the highest at 25 - 45 years old (40%) and 0 -18 years old (30%) for female victims pentru victimele de sex feminin and at 0 -18 years old (67%) for male victims.
n 44% victims attended secondary school, 27% victims attended highschool and 21% victims attended primary school.
n 25% victims have a monthly wage under 300 lei, 25% victims have a monthly wage between 300-850 lei and 25% victims have a monthly wage above 850 lei, 25% victims have no income or receive the social benefit.
n 39% family perpetartors are parents, 33% family perpetartors are sposes, 13% family perpetartors are consensual partners, 6% family perpetartors are friends.
n 34% victims are agressed weekly, 21% daily, 18% monthly and rarely agressed 27%.
NAFP estimates that the real number of the domestic violence cases is higher, taking into account the fact that not all victims come to the responsible institutions or they do not claim the real problem. In the same time not all institutions report the cases of domestic violence to the specialised bodies.
2. The national informatics and informational system to monitor and to report domestic violence cases
In order to develop and implement a national informatics and informational system to monitor, report and manage the domestic violence cases, the NAFP works to assimilate a system to the identified needs at the national level, starting from an instrument produced and developed by the East European Institute for the Health Reproduction at the Mures County. The purpose of this system is to have a real image of the spread of the domestic violence phenomenon, eliminating the multiple reports, some times parallel and redundant information. The system is developed in cooperation with the central and local public authorities, as well as with specialized social services providers within the field of preventing and fighting against domestic violence.
The system collects, reports and aggregates statistical data regarding victims of domestic violence and family perpetrators.
The main advantages of the system are:
ě facilitates the elaboration of studies and researches concerning the real dimension of domestic violence phenomenon;
ě promotes the partnership and social solidarity culture at the national and local level;
ě provides the necessary data for decision-making.
IV. Awareness raising
The NAFP organized and participated as main partner to the raising awareness activities at the national level by: dissemination of the TV spot “Violence is learned at home” in 2006; participation at the national seminar called “Family in 2006 - Romania”, organized on May 15th 2006, the International Day of Family; participation at the Crime Prevention Week, in September 2006; coo-partner to the Campaign “16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence”, organized by Romanian Parliament ; dissemination of messages through flyers, white bows, posters.
In the context of the Pan European Campaign to combating violence against women, including domestic violence, which is during March 2006 – June 2008, the NAFP organized with the Council of Europe Information Office in Bucharest the National Campaign in the framework of the Council of Europe Campaign combating Domestic Violence against women. The campaign was developed at the national and local level during 28th of November – 10th of December 2007, through many actions which aimed to prevent and fight against the domestic violence, such as the launch of the first Guide for Intervention in cases of Domestic Violence, the dissemination of TV and radio spots, flyers, posters, banners, the working meeting regarding the future strategy in the field of preventing and fighting against domestic violence, the local events specially organized for the campaign, and a round table on the Romanian Parliament about the proposals regarding the future law.
As future actions in the field of domestic violence against women, with the occasion of International Day of the Family the NAFP put in his programme for 15 May 2008 : a) Media Campaign, regarding preventing violence against women, including domestic violence ; b) co-operation with Migration` s Department of Coslada-Spain for signing a Protocol on combating violence against women within Romanian migrants.
Some of the Campaign materials publicity (posters, flyers, bookmarks, calendars), recommended by CoE web site have already been translated into Romanian language or adapted for national campaign, such as audio and video spots which was broadcasting in local, and central chanells and aired during the best time. The mostly of publicity materials, posters and flyers was create by local authorities and ngo`s.
The main source of the campaign budget was covered by Ministry of Labor, Family and Equal Opportunities, National Agency for Family Protection, and UNFDP.
The CoE campaign gives us the opportunity bringing all stakeholders, volunteers and victims to the table to identify the most pressing needs for action and developing a co-operation for designing new programmes and new policy measures. But it is very important that the campaign was a tool which made the general public to be more concerned by the subject.