Information Legal Centre (ILC)
Elementary school Okucani
Elementary school “Ivan Mestrovic” Vrpolje
Secondary school – Electrical engineering and economics school Nova Gradiska
The selected schools have shown great interest in participating in the project and in addressing gender and relationship violence through activities which will meet the school’s and students’ needs.
Main objective: To raise awareness, provide support to the victims and educate children of the issue of domestic violence in smaller municipalities.
-mobile teams for victims support (emotional, psychological, legal support, escort to police, courts and other institutions)
-prevention and education programs for schools to reduce violence among teenagers
-community meetings (information on legal, social and human rights dimensions of violence)
-public awareness campaign
Initiative will take place in Brod-Posavina County: Okucani, Vrpolje and Nova Gradiska.
BPC is located in the east of Croatia and according to the development index it is on the 16th place out of 20 counties. Women in rural areas are more likely than women in urban areas to experience domestic and family violence. Women living in rural areas who experience violence face specific issues related to their geographical location and the cultural and social characteristics of living in small communities. There is a common view in rural communities that "family problems" such as violence are not talked about, which serves to silence women's experience of violence and deter them from disclosing violence and abuse. Fear of stigma, shame, community gossip and a lack of perpetrator accountability deter women from seeking help. With this project we will detect and prevent family violence
The final beneficiaries of the project are women and children from smaller municipalities (160 primary school pupils, 150 secondary school pupils and 100 women).
Women in non-urban communities are experiencing fear of their partner's; economic concerns; family pressure. They find difficulty in accessing services due to geographical isolation, lack of transportation options and not having access to their own income.
Adolescents who experience violence in dating have a higher probability of adverse developments later in life, such as eating disorders, isolation, smoking, or alcohol and drug abuse.
Rural community members are not well educated and informed about domestic violence especially elderly women or women with disabilities. Media campaign will provide that information.
Victims of domestic violence will be supported by mobile teams that will provide support and advice on a weekly basis in municipality buildings and, if necessary, in victims’ homes. Victims who decide to report perpetrators will be accompanied to police, centres for social welfare, state attorney’s office, courts. Education in schools will be organised for children who will become aware of the harmfulness of being in violent relationships. At community meetings, the citizens will be informed about legal, social and human rights dimensions of violence. Legal staff will provide advice on victims' rights, procedures for reporting perpetrators, divorce, division of property, minor children, etc. Media campaign will raise awareness to stop violence and share information about service providers.
The most significant impact will be on victims of domestic violence in small municipalities who will receive support that will empower them to disclose violence and seek support. This will reduce the occurrence of domestic violence in rural areas of BPC.
Prevention and education programs in school will reduce gender and relationship violence among teenagers, expressed in the form of physical, psychological or sexual actions.
Through the media campaign, we will raise the awareness of citizens about importance of reporting domestic violence and build a culture of non-violence among young people.
Health, social and legal services will have better understanding of domestic violence and will create a network between services and programs which will cater the needs of women in isolated areas.
In the past 3 months, due to the pandemic caused by the Covid-19 virus, RoC has taken certain prevention measures which left citizens isolated in their homes. The constant coexistence in the household was a challenge for functional families, and even more so for dysfunctional ones. Due to the economic uncertainty, possible layoffs and previously disturbed relations, domestic violence has increased. Through educational activities in schools, we want to influence the prevention of domestic violence from an early age, teach school children how to recognize violence and to whom to report it without consequences. Through the media campaign, we plan to sensitize the wider community of the existence of domestic violence among their friends, family and neighbours and encourage them to report it.
The key issue is that access to services in remote locations is severely compromised by their scarcity and the distance that women often have to travel to reach them. There are also concerns for women relating to privacy and confidentiality due to living in a small community with a limited number of service providers.
Further issues include:
• a lack of specialized services (disability, elderly people);
• a lack of affordable legal services;
• the higher cost of service provision in non-urban areas;
• delayed response times (by police and emergency services) due to geographical remoteness
• a shortage of crisis/refuge accommodation
Funding requested from Civic Europe
Major expenses will be:
Personnel costs: 20.000€
Office expenses: 2.000€
Vehicle purchasing: 15.000€
Fuel and transportation costs: 2.000€
Education expenses: 3.000€
Public awareness campaign: 5.000€
Equipment and goods: 3.000€
We need good advice and suggestions on how to improve our idea. All comments and propositions are welcome!