The key to solving the problem of violence against women lies primarily in the continuous education of those applying laws and regulations, gender equality ombudswoman Višnja Ljubičić has said ahead of the National Day of Combating Violence Against Women on Wednesday.
Ljubičić welcomed the latest amendments to the criminal code and the law on protection against domestic violence, which eliminated some key shortcomings in the effective suppression of gender-based violence, but said the key was to keep educating those applying laws and regulations, rather than infrequently changing legislation.
Serious acts of gender-based violence are often tried as misdemeanours and serious cases of sexual, domestic, and gender-based violence are recognised too late, when femicide occurs, Ljubičić also said.
Since 2015, domestic violence has been continuously and significantly increasing while misdemeanour complaints have been decreasing.
The number of misdemeanour domestic violence complaints dropped from over 18,000 in 2009 to a little over 9,000 in 2020, while the number of criminal complaints surged from 400 to over 4,000.
According to interior ministry figures for this year through 31 August, 5,522 were registered perpetrators of misdemeanour domestic violence, with men making up 77% as well as 6,333 of the victims, and women making up 63.8%. There were also 1,153 registered victims of domestic violence crimes, of whom 86% were women.
(Željko Trkanjec | EURACTIV.hr)