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Fact sheet
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Task Force
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Campaign blueprint
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Campaign material
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National campaigns
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National contacts
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About domestic violence
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Council of Europe recommendation
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Analytical study on the effective implementation of Recommendation Rec(2002)5 on the protection of women against violence in Council of Europe member states
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Stocktaking study on the measures and actions taken in Council of Europe member states (2006)
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Other resources
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Press brief
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Press releases
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Press review
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Launching Conference
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Regional Seminars
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Other events

Report on the National Campaign “Stop Domestic Violence against Women”
in the Slovak Republic

The European Council launched the first pan-European campaign STOP DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN at the November 2006 conference in Madrid. The individual member states of the European Council began to join this call throughout the year with their national campaigns. Campaigns also took place on the European, parliamentary and local – regional levels.
Viera Tomanová, the Minister of Labor, Social Affairs and Family declared Slovakia’s full support for this pan-European activity at the above mentioned conference in Madrid. She added that the Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs and Family of the Slovak Republic would be the administrator of its fulfillment on behalf of the Government of the Slovak Republic on the national level. The ministries of education, health and interior also contributed to the fulfillment of the campaign activities in the Slovak Republic and cooperated in selected activities.

The National Campaign of the Slovak Republic

Time Framework
The National Campaign of the Slovak Republic (the “National Campaign”) was officially launched on November 22, 2007 with the closing seminar planned for the end of April 2008.

Campaign Organizers and Addressed Subjects
The National Campaign was initiated and administered by the Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs and Family of the SR. Due to its pan-European character, the Ministry cooperated closely with the Information Office of the European Council in Bratislava with the goal to implement the National Campaign according to the intentions and in compliance with the calls of the pan-European campaign.
The National Campaign constitutes the first governmental campaign in this field and that is why the Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs and Family of the SR decided to cooperate with the non-governmental organizations associated under the initiative with the title The Fifth Woman which became medially known by organizing the first media campaigns designated for lifting the taboo on the topic of domestic violence in Slovakia.
Church representatives were also invited to cooperate. Minister Tomanová wrote to church leaders for the purpose of capturing the interest of believers and the general public in the topic of combating domestic violence against women. The reaction of the addressed representatives was positive and they promised their personal engagement in the dissemination of zero tolerance towards domestic violence within the framework of church activities for believers.

Goals of the National Campaign of the SR

    a) to enhance awareness on the national level about the fact that violence against women constitutes a violation of human rights and to encourage every citizen to reject this violence;
    b) to inform the general public about the fact that the inequality of the distribution of power in society is the basic cause of the phenomenon of violence and to stress the need to eliminate gender stereotypes in society;
    c) to inform the general public about the forms of violence and possibilities of assistance for victims of violence;
    d) to improve the work of assisting professionals in their empathic, professional and sensitive approach to the victims; and
    e) to promote the fulfillment of the tasks of the National Action Plan for the Prevention and Elimination of Violence against Women for 2005-2008.

Target Groups of the Campaign

    a) general public – to generate general discussions about the causes, details and consequences of domestic violence and to inform the public on the possibilities for active participation in the elimination of violence
    b) young people – to clearly establish the understanding of zero tolerance towards domestic violence against women
    c) political representation – to raise interest in assuming political responsibility for the solution of issues of domestic violence
    d) women – victims of any form of domestic violence, to provide and make accessible information and professional advice and available services of specialized organizations in the regions

Activities of the National Campaign in the SR

    · organizing discussions with experts about domestic violence, the active participation of experts at conferences and seminars with the topic of the elimination of domestic violence against women
    · designing a new information internet page, which, besides useful information, also provides available contacts for organizations and institutions providing assistance to victims of such violence
    · providing training and instruction activities for assisting professions
    · compiling, publishing and disseminating professional brochures and information fliers designated for the target groups
    · professional cooperation in the nationwide competition of the secondary school students – Human Rights Olympiad, whose central topic was constituted by the issues of NO Tolerance to Violence
    · engaging other public administration institutions in cooperating on the campaign activities

National Campaign Media Instruments

    · Television and Radio Campaign Spots – television and radio spots are broadcast throughout the course of the national campaign in the selected media. The spots are comprised of visual material and the dubbing of sound materials delivered from the European Council. The spots featuring a distinctive emotional accent of the experience of violence by the victims, effectively presented the main ideas and the legacy of the campaign.
    · Placement and Dissemination of Posters with the Call: We Can’t Afford to Not Hear the Call for Help – throughout Slovakia on outdoor advertisement locations, 150 billboards, presented in the form of city lights in all department stores in Slovakia and smaller posters on buses and streetcars in the regional towns.
    · Nina Kusturica’s film Signs of Siege - describes the stories of 4 women confronted with violence in their partnership relations, who found the courage to break through the silence and to escape from the vicious cycle.
    · Media Appearances – discussion programs within the framework of various television and radio programs.
    · Publishing of Information Articles, Interviews, Reportages – in the print media

Implemented Activities of the National Campaign of the SR
The National Campaign Stop Domestic Violence against Women was launched by two significant events which took place on November 22, 2007.

    · Press Conference on the occasion of the launching of the Campaign – Viera Tomanová, the Minister of Labor, Social Affairs and Family, officially launched the National Campaign at this press conference. In her speech she said that the Slovak Republic, as a member state of the European Council, undertook to respect, protect and adhere to the human rights of all its population. That is why she considers violence against women as a nationwide issue and takes it as seriously as any other criminal activity. But the investigation and punishment of all forms of domestic violence do not constitute the entire matter for state institutions – they also strive to combine education, prevention and effective and coordinated assistance to the victims of violence. Gűlsűn Bilgehan, the Chair of the Committee of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly for Equal Opportunities for Men and Women and Viliam Figusch, the Director of the Information Office of the EC in Bratislava also spoke and responded to questions during the press conference, which was attended by 23 representatives of the print, radio and television media.
    · Moderated discussion: MEN GET INVOLVED TO COMBAT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE took place as the initiative of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly, the Information Office of the EC in Bratislava, the National Council of the Slovak Republic and the Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs and Family of the SR with participation of members of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly and the representatives of ministries, non-governmental organizations and academic circles.
    · In June 2007, during the preparations for the Campaign, the Division for Gender Equality of the Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs and Family of the SR organized a fine art competition for the design of national posters of the Campaign. Two works from the competition in the SR were presented at the fine art depiction of the idea of the rejection violence against women at the exhibition of national posters of all member states of the European Council in Strasbourg.
    · The launching of the touring exhibition “SILENCED WITNESSES” on the premises of the Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs and Family of the SR in November 2007. This exhibition presented an exposition of 15 dummies painted red, the color of blood. The figures of women represented dead victims of violence “silenced witnesses” with descriptions of their difficult life stories placed on their chests.
    · The Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs and Family of the SR issued several publications and information materials designated for individual target groups within the framework of the National Campaign.
    · The goals of the Campaign and the topic of domestic violence were presented at several national conferences and at the Slovak nationwide competition for secondary school students – The Human Rights Olympiad, the 10th year of which was primarily dedicated to the topic of zero tolerance of domestic violence.
    · In addition to information and cultural activities, the Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs and Family implemented training for more than 200 employees of the Offices of Labor, Social Affairs and Family about the methods and possibilities of assistance for women victims of violence. Networks of highly trained contact persons were created directly in the regions through such targeted procedure. The training of assisting professionals, such as healthcare workers, policemen and others, will continue within the framework of individual ministries.

A nationwide representative survey on the incidence of domestic violence in Slovakia and the standpoints of society towards this issue was also conducted. The outcomes of this survey are expected to be presented at the closing seminar of the Campaign where the course and fulfillment of the goals will be assessed.