The first Family Justice Center – a service intended for victims of domestic violence and sexual violence - was opened in the Republic of Moldova. The new entity is to contribute to increasing the capacities of functionaries to offer immediate and high-quality support to survivors through a common service, destroying this way the chain of domestic, sexual violence and abuse, violence against children by offering services to rebuild and restore lives, IPN reports.
The Center was inaugurated following reconstruction works performed by IOM Moldova as part of a project financed by the U.S. Government. It will work by the American model under which all the authorities and specialists team up and work promptly, starting from the needs of the victim, in the supreme interests of this. The novelty of this service for the Republic of Moldova is that the police, medical examiners, lawyers, psychologists, social assistants and specialists of a number of expert NGOs will work round-the-clock for women and children who need assistance.
In the opening ceremony, Minister of Home Affairs Adrian Efros said that through the agency of the Family Justice Center, domestic violence and sex-related offenses will be addressed in a cohesive way through intersectoral cooperation of specialists from the police, justice sector, health sector, legal medicine, social protection. They will be approached under the same roof, by the model of similar centers working in European states and the U.S.
Attending the event, President Maia Sandu said the victims often experience not only physical and psychological pain, but also irony and stigmatization on the part of the family and the community when they seek help to get rid of brutality in their own home. “Not only this theme makes many of the victims hide this experience, but also the bureaucratic, sometime humiliating path that they needed to cover if they had the courage to seek help. Practically, this path intensified the trauma, instead of easing the pain. (..) The victims of domestic violence will be welcomed in a space where they will find safety and empathy, where they will be helped, not judged,” stated President Sandu.
U.S. Ambassador to Moldova Kent D. Logsdon said the United States proudly supports the efforts made by the Republic of Moldova to prevent and respond to gender-based violence. “We appreciate our continuous partnership to solve this critical problem as part of the common objective to build a democratic, prosperous and safe future for all the citizens of the Republic of Moldova,” noted the diplomat.
To be offered assistance by the team of the Family Justice Center of the Police, the persons will call the 112 Emergency Service or the trustline intended for women and girls 0 8008 8008.
Data of the General Police Inspectorate show an annual increase in the number of reported cases of gender-based violence, which is thought to be the result of the improvement of specialists’ professional capacities to react promptly and the creation of intersectoral reference and intervention mechanisms and also of the increase in the victims’ confidence in the law enforcement agencies. This way, in 2022 alone there were recorded 2,471 cases of domestic violence and 504 sex offenses, 222 of which were rapes, while 282 were acts of violence of a sexual character, and also 403 sex offenses against children. Twenty-four women died after being subject to violence by a family member or the intimate partner, while 45 women suffered serious bodily injuries.