On the Approval of the National Programme for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Provision of Assistance to Victims for the Period of 2014-2020


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Government of the Republic of Lithuania
 
RESOLUTION No 485
 
ON
THE APPROVAL OF THE NATIONAL PROGRAMME FOR THE PREVENTION OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND PROVISION OF ASSISTANCE TO VICTIMS FOR THE PERIOD OF 2014-2020
 
28 May 2014
 
Vilnius
 
In line with Article 4(2) and Article 8(2) of the Law on Protection against Domestic Violence of the Republic of Lithuania, the Government of the Republic of Lithuania has resolved:
1. To approve the following National Programme for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Provision of Assistance to Victims for the Period of 2014–2020 (hereinafter referred to as the “Programme”);
2. To recommend the municipalities, Office of the Prosecutor General of the Republic of Lithuania and Ethics Commission for Journalists and Publishers to participate in the implementation of the Programme.
3. To recognize as being repealed:
3.1. Resolution No 1330 of 22 December 2006 of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania on the Approval of the National Strategy for Combating Violence against Women and its Implementation Action Plan for the Period of 2007–2009 including all the amendments and supplements;
3.2. Resolution No 853 of 19 August 2009 of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania on the Approval of the Action Plan for the Implementation of the National Strategy for Combating Violence against Women for the Period of 2010–2012.
 
 
 
Prime Minister                                                                                 Algirdas Butkevičius
 
 
 
Minister of Social Security and Labour                                          Algimanta Pabedinskienė
 
 
APPROVED by Resolution No 485 of
28 May 2014 of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania
 
 
 
NATIONAL PROGRAMME FOR THE PREVENTION OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND PROVISION OF ASSISTANCE TO VICTIMS FOR THE PERIOD OF 2014-2020
 
 
 
CHAPTER I
GENERAL PROVISIONS
 
1. The National Programme for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Provision of Assistance to Victims for the Period of 2014–2020 (hereinafter referred to as the “Programme”) aims to ensure the prevention of domestic violence and provision of assistance to victims of domestic violence (hereinafter referred to as “victim of violence”).
2. The Programme is prepared in line with the provisions of the Law on the Protection against Domestic Violence of the Republic of Lithuania (hereinafter referred to as “the Law”). The Programme defines two objectives concerning prevention and provision of complex assistance to victims of violence, establishes goals for the achievement of those objectives, presents the analysis that substantiates the objectives and goals as well as lists assessment criteria and their values.
3. The following programmes and strategies contribute to the implementation of the Programme: Programme for Child Wellbeing for the period of 2013–2018, approved by Order No A1-547 of 3 December 2012 of the Minister of Social Security and Labour on the Approval of the Programme for Child Wellbeing for the period of 2013–2018, Mental Health Strategy, approved by Resolution No X-1070 of 3 April 2007 of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania on the Approval of the Mental Health Strategy, Programme on Alcohol and Tabaco Control (Interinstitutional Action Plan), approved by Resolution No 1080 of 14 September 2011 of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania on the Approval of the Programme on Alcohol and Tabaco Control (Interinstitutional Action Plan).
The National Programme for the Prevention of Violence against Children and Provision of Assistance to Children for the Period of 2011–2015, approved by Order No A1-2 of 3 January 2011 of the Minister of Social Security and Labour on the Approval of the National Programme for the Prevention of Violence against Children and Provision of Assistance to Children for the Period of 2011–2015 is focused on problems concerning all kinds and forms of violence (physical, emotional, sexual) against children including all forms of its manifestation, violence prevention and intervention.
4. Statistical information indicates the scale of domestic violence. According to the data of the Police Department under the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Lithuania 21.6 thousand reports on domestic violence were registered in 2013; more than 10 thousand pre-trial investigations were initiated. Women made up the biggest group of victims (82 per cent), the rest being men (11 per cent) and children (7 per cent). The comparison of these findings with the data of the year 2012 indicates that the number of such reports has increased by 18 per cent and the number of pre-trial investigations has increased by 32 per cent. According to the data of the Information Technology and Communications Department under the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Lithuania during the period from March to December of 2013 7.6 thousand of criminal activities related to domestic violence were registered, nearly 84 per cent of which have been successfully investigated. During the period from March to December of 2013 the number of registered cases of such criminal activities was higher by 75 per cent when compared with the same period of the year 2012. During the period from January to December of 2013 more than 5.7 thousand persons were registered as victims of criminal activities related to domestic violence; this number is higher by 54 per cent than the number of such persons registered during the same period of the year 2012; the number of women registered as victims has increased by 53 per cent. The number of cases when men and minor children are recognized as victims has increased.
5. Domestic violence is latent. Criminal activities are often concealed, thus remain unnoticed by the outsiders. Victim of violence usually seeks help only in case of repeated violence. Since domestic violence is latent, it is difficult to determine the real scale of criminal activity related to it. When evaluating the effectiveness of Programme implementation it is important to conduct representative victimization surveys that will allow to determine the average percentage of victims of domestic violence as well as the scale of this phenomenon. Periodic surveys would show the alternation of this phenomenon. Moreover, the data received would allow to foresee actions that could reduce the number of cases of domestic violence most of all.
6. The survey “Violence against Women” (http//fra.europa.eu/en/publication/2014/vaw-survey-main-results (March, 2014) conducted in 2014 by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights states that violence experienced or witnessed in childhood can increase vulnerability to violence in adulthood. Thus it is important to notice violent behaviour as early as possible, prevent it and build personal relations on the principle that violence is unacceptable no matter what circumstances are.
7. Use of alcohol is one of the problematic issues. The causal link between the use of alcohol and violence is ambiguous. Although violent behaviour can be present without any influence of alcohol, the abovementioned survey “Violence against Women” conducted by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights indicates that women whose partners drink often and much experience physical and sexual violence of their partners more often; when a partner does not drink so much that he gets heavy drunk, the level of physical and sexual violence amounts to 5 per cent, when a partner does drink so much that he gets heavy drunk once a month or more often, then the level of violence amounts to 23 per cent.
8. Victims of violence and their family members (persons related by present or past marriage, partnership, brother/sister-in-law or relationship ties) as well other members of society suffer the consequences of domestic violence. In addition to serious psychic and physical health disorders these consequences should also be linked to socio-economic expenditure.
9. Terms used in the Programme are defined in the Law.
 
CHAPTER II
OBJECTIVES AND GOALS OF THE PROGRAMME
 
10. The strategic objective of the Programme is to reduce the scale of domestic violence at national level.
11. The first objective of the Programme is to increase public awareness about different manifestations of violence, its consequences and necessity to prevent it as well as to encourage intolerance to violent behaviour. The reasons that induced to pursue the abovementioned objective are as follows:
11.1. Domestic violence is still tolerated. Domestic violence as a breach of human rights has been ignored for a long time. Before the Law came into effect domestic violence was considered a private matter of a person; awareness-rising of the public and specialists on the issues concerning equality between women and men, non-stereotype gender roles, mutual respect, nonviolent personal conflict resolution was inconsistent. Thus it is important to ensure that the public could recognize domestic violence more easily, receive more information on the harm of domestic violence, prevention, provision of assistance to its victims, punishment for the use of violence and change of violent behaviour as well as show intolerance to violence.
11.2. Specialists that provide assistance to victims of violence are low-skilled in recognizing the different manifestations and consequences of domestic violence. Especially there is a lack of domestic violence recognition trainings and standard response briefings for law enforcement officers and other professionals. These measures would help to ensure a more effective treatment of victims of  domestic violence. Thus it is important to improve the qualification of law enforcement officers, social workers, health care and children rights protection specialists, personnel of education and training institutions and specialists of other fields working with victims of violence and create a system of emotional support to those providing assistance to ensure sparing and effective use of human resources.
11.3. Programmes for the prevention of domestic violence, change of violent behaviour and development of parenthood skills are not adequately applied, their financing from the State budget of the Republic of Lithuania is inconsistent.
According to Article 722 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Lithuania forced participation in the programmes aimed at correcting violent behaviour as a punitive measure may be imposed on persons who committed acts of violence against a close relative or family member. The court may decide to apply this measure as well as other punitive measures in addition to a punishment in cases when it is assumed that they will help to serve the purpose of the punishment. The abovementioned programmes aimed at correcting violent behaviour are implemented by the Prison Department under the Ministry of Justice (hereinafter referred to as “Prison Department”).
In correctional institutions programmes aimed at correcting violent behaviour in addition to social rehabilitation are applied to persons sentenced to real imprisonment. According to the data of the Prison Department 233 persons convicted of domestic violence received targeted (continual) individual consultations in 2012.
Children rights protection institutions pay attention to significant cases of violence against parents, guardians and other family members. Aiming to reduce the spread of such violence it is important to undertake targeted activity, namely to improve interinstitutional co-operation and to introduce advanced punitive measures.
Domestic violence perpetrators seeking to correct their violent behaviour receive assistance from nongovernmental organizations. In 2013 the Ministry of Social Security and Labour allocated funds for the implementation of projects of nongovernmental organizations and as a result more than 200 persons seeking to correct their violent behaviour received assistance.
It is important to improve work involving perpetrators, namely to prepare programmes aimed at correcting violent behaviour or adopt such programmes as implemented in foreign countries and to encourage as many perpetrators as possible to take part in them.
It is important to define risk groups and take preventive actions aimed at reducing the risk of domestic violence, as well as to implement programmes and projects aimed at reducing violence, bullying and developing positive parenthood skills.
12. Goals established to attain the first objective are as follows:
12.1. To raise public awareness about the prevention of domestic violence, train to recognize the manifestations of violence, encourage intolerance to all kinds of violence;
12.2. To improve professional qualification of employers of state and municipal institutions as well as of other persons engaged in the fields of domestic violence prevention and provision of assistance to victims of violence;
12.3. To develop and implement preventive measures aimed at correcting violent behaviour.
13. The second objective of the Programme is to improve the mechanism of complex assistance provision to the victims of violence based on the co-operation of state and municipal institutions and bodies, nongovernmental organizations, other bodies, organizations and the general public. The reasons that induced to pursue the abovementioned objective are as follows:
13.1. The services provided are fragmentary. The system of legal assistance that should ensure the provision of quality social, health care, legal and psychological services to victims of violence and their family members for a certain period of time on purpose to reduce the damage incurred and to properly restore the emotional and physical state of health is not adequately developed.
Efforts should be made to ensure that victims of violence receive urgent and easy access to professional assistance in the specialized assistance centres as well as by means of infrastructure active in municipalities.
The specialized assistance centres started their activity in September of 2012. These centres along with their partners guided by the provisions of partnership agreement provide special assistance to victims of violence all over Lithuania. In 2013 such assistance was provided to more than 5 000 victims of violence; women made 90 per cent of the victims.
Specialized assistance centres provide psychological assistance to victims of violence that helps to overcome the critical condition, act as mediators in order to ensure legal assistance, provide information on issues concerned to a victim, consult him or her, act as mediators in order to ensure the provision of further assistance by other organizations, bodies or experts providing assistance to victims of violence as well as organize such activity. If necessary the centres act as mediators in order to ensure that a victim of violence receives medical help. With a view to ensure the provision of long-term assistance to a victim of violence the abovementioned centres co-operate with the crisis centres of municipalities or nongovernmental organizations that provide temporary accommodation services, bodies providing social services, the police, health care institutions, as well as institutions providing legal assistance. Each year 920 thousand Litas are allocated from the State budget of the Republic of Lithuania for the activity of such centres (in 2013 and 2014).
Aiming to ensure that assistance provided to victims of violence is as effective as possible, it is important to increase the effectiveness of activity of the centres, prepare and apply the methodology for quality assessment of assistance to victims of violence, ensure funding for nongovernmental organizations, improve the financing mechanism, use and develop the infrastructure of municipal institutions and bodies as well as other resources capable of facilitating the provision of assistance.
13.2. Effective procedure for separation of a perpetrator from a victim of violence is not established. Measures that were adopted for the protection of a victim of violence are not effective enough, there is no reliable mechanism to protect a victim of violence when a perpetrator violates measures, conditions and obligations aimed to protect a victim applied. For these reasons it is important to upgrade legislation applicable in this field.
13.3. There is a lack of interinstitutional co-operation. Organization and provision of assistance to victims of violence lacks a coordinated mechanism for the provision of complex assistance to victims that would involve state and municipal institutions and nongovernmental organizations and that would ensure the provision of complex legal, social, psychological and other necessary assistance.
The Law obliges municipal institutions to pay attention to problems concerning domestic violence as well; the Law obliges them to define preventive measures to be applied to victims of violence in their municipal strategic development plan and (or) municipal strategic action plan. Municipal institutions should develop joint actions with nongovernmental organizations that provide assistance to victims of violence and buy their services, if necessary.
According to Decree No 212 of 14 June 2013 of the Prime Minister on the Establishment of a Working Group an interdepartmental working group entrusted with the task to co-ordinate and settle domestic violence related issues was established. Regular meetings with the participation of nongovernmental organizations that provide special complex assistance are held. When developing interinstitutional co-operation it is important to invite experts of certain fields to the sittings of the abovementioned working group and its meetings with nongovernmental organizations, propose and implement measures that would improve the interaction of different assistance providers and strengthen the co-ordinated mechanism for the provision of complex assistance to victims.
14. Goals established to attain the second objective are as follows:
14.1. To upgrade the system for provision of assistance to victims of violence and their family members, improve quality of services and access to them;
14.2. To strengthen the co-operation between state institutions, municipal institutions and nongovernmental organizations.
 
CHAPTER III
IMPLEMENTATION AND FINANCING OF THE PROGRAMME
 
15. The implementation of the Programme is co-ordinated by the Ministry of Social Security and Labour of the Republic of Lithuania. The implementation of the Programme involves the participation of Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania, Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Lithuania, Ministry of Health of the Republic of Lithuania, Ministry of Education of the Republic of Lithuania, Prison Department under the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Lithuania, Police Department under the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Lithuania, Information Technology and Communications Department under the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Lithuania.
16. The Programme is financed by general allocations earmarked for certain institutions responsible for the implementation of measures in the Law on Approval of Financial Indicators of the State Budget of the Republic of Lithuania and Municipal Budgets of a certain year, support received from the European Union and other structural funds, international programmes as well as other legally received funds.
17. Once in three years action plans are prepared that after coordination with institutions participating in the implementation of the Programme are approved by the Minister of Social Security and Labour.
18. The Ministry of Social Security and Labour of the Republic of Lithuania monitors the implementation of the Programme and evaluates the progress achieved.
19. As from the year 2015 institutions participating in the implementation of the Programme each year and not later than 25 January provide to the Ministry of Social Security and Labour of the Republic of Lithuania information on the results achieved when performing activities of the previous year and fulfilment of criteria adopted in line with the Strategic Planning Methodology approved by Resolution No 827 of 6 June 2002 of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania on the Approval of Strategic Planning Methodology.
20. The Ministry of Social Security and Labour of the Republic of Lithuania each year provides information on the implementation of the Programme included in its Annual Activity Report to the Government of the Republic of Lithuania.
 
CHAPTER IV
PROGRAMME INPLEMENTATION ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
 
21. Annex contains the list of Programme implementation assessment criteria and their values.
 
 
__________________
 
 
Annex to the National Programme for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Provision of Assistance to Victims for the Period of 2014–2020
 
 
 
LIST OF IMPLEMENTATION ASSESMENT CRITERIA APPLIED TO THE NATIONAL PROGRAMME FOR THE PREVENTION OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND PROVISION OF ASSISTANCE TO VICTIMS FOR THE PERIOD OF 2014-2020 AND THEIR VALUES
 
 
ItemNo
Objective, goal
Assessment criterion
Values of assessment criterion
Institution that monitors the fulfilment of assessment criterion
2014
2015–2016
2017–2018
2019–2020
Strategic objective: to reduce the scale of domestic violence at national level
 
 
Decline of number of victims of violence (in per cent)
*
4
8
15
Ministry of Social Security and Labour of the Republic of Lithuania (hereinafter referred to as “Ministry of Social Security and Labour”)
1. Objective: to spread information on different manifestations of violence, its consequences and necessity to stop it widely to the public as well as encourage to show intolerance to violent behaviour
1.1.
To raise public awareness about the prevention of domestic violence, train to recognize the manifestations of violence, encourage intolerance to all kinds of violence
Number of information campaigns (TV broadcasts, social advertisements, seminars and other events) organized
2  
5  
5  
5  
Ministry of Social Security and Labour
 
 
Increase in number of respondents who have information about domestic violence related awareness raising events or saw such events (in per cents)
67**
72
77
83
Ministry of Social Security and Labour
1.2.
To improve professional qualification of employers of state and municipal institutions as well as of other persons engaged in the fields of domestic violence prevention and provision of assistance to victims of violence
Number of employees of municipal institutions, nongovernmental organizations providing assistance to victims of violence who received training
45***
100  
140
170  
Ministry of Social Security and Labour
Number of educators and education assistance specialists who received training
0
800  
800
800  
Ministry of Education of the Republic of Lithuania (hereinafter referred to as “Ministry of Education”)
Number of police officers who received training  
60
300  
300
300  
Police Department under the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Lithuania
Number of health care specialists who received training
10
40  
40  
40  
Ministry of Health of the Republic of Lithuania (hereinafter referred to as “Ministry of Health”)
1.3.
To develop and implement preventive measures aimed at correcting violent behaviour
Number of persons who participated in programmes aimed at correcting violent behaviour
****
300
300  
300
Ministry of Social Security and Labour   Prison Department under the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Lithuania
2. Objective: to improve the mechanism of complex assistance provision to the victims of violence based on the co-operation of state and municipal institutions, nongovernmental organizations, other bodies, organizations and the general public
 
 
Victims of domestic violence that received assistance in specialized assistance centres (in percent in relation to all victims of violence)
50
80  
90
100
Ministry of Social Security and Labour
2.1.
To upgrade the system for provision of assistance to victims of violence and their family members, improve quality of services and access to them
Increase in number of municipalities that have a body or organization that provides assistance to victims of violence
50*****
54
58
60
Ministry of Social Security and Labour
Proportion of victims of violence that are satisfied with services provided (in percent, in relation to all persons who sought for help)
******
******
******
100
Ministry of Social Security and Labour
2.2.
To strengthen the co-operation between state institutions, municipal institutions and nongovernmental organizations
Increase in number of nongovernmental organizations that provide assistance to victims of violence in municipalities
25*******
30
45  
50
Ministry of Social Security and Labour
 
* Value of indicator will be determined in 2014. 
** Data of the survey “Violence against Women” conducted in 2014 by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (http//fra.europa.eu/en/publication/2014/vaw-survey-main-results).
*** Value of indicator in 2013.
**** Value of indicator will be determined in 2016.
***** Value of indicator in 2012.
****** Value of indicator will be determined in 2014.
******* Value of indicator in 2012.
 
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