On the occasion of National Day of combating violence against women, the parliamentary Gender Equality Committee chair, Marija Selak-Raspudic of the opposition Most party, underscored on Tuesday that domestic violence was one of the worst forms of violence against women.
Calling for better prevention, Selak-Raspudic underscored that discussing the problem was already and act of prevention.
Seven women have been killed by someone close to them so far this year
According to data from the Interior Ministry (MUP), of the 23 murders committed in the first eight months of 2020, eight were by close persons and seven of the victims were women – one was a common-law spouse, two were spouses and one sister, two victims were mothers and one was a grandmother, Selak-Raspudic said at a press conference.
There were 708 crimes involving bodily injury, 88 with grave injuries, and 1,796 cases of threat were recorded by close persons. There were also 6,523 reports of domestic violence and of that in 4,116 cases the victims were women and in 2,407 the victims were men. There were also 1,005 cases of serious domestic violence crimes with 849 being against women, Selak-Raspudic said.
As far as the Justice and Public Administration Ministry data is concerned, 281 decisions were delivered in accordance with the Penal Code, 242 as final decision and of that 248 ended in convictions, 213 of which were final. As far as grave bodily injuries are concerned, 11 decisions were delivered with 10 convictions and one person was acquitted, she added.
She underscored that in the majority of cases these were conditional prison sentences ranging from 6 to 12 months and assessed that that indicates what has already been pointed out as a problem and that is very mild punishment as far as convictions are concerned. In that regard the committee plans to work on creating a more stringent legislative framework and to raise awareness in society through education and prevention.
MP Grozdana Peric (HDZ) and member of the committee underscored that in the first nine months of this year there have been 6,690 cases of domestic violence while in that period last year there were 8,117 which indicates a mild decrease in those cases.
She informed that there are 19 safe houses in Croatia for women victims of domestic violence, 17 of which are financed from the state budget.