The Republic of Moldova signed the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul Convention) in 2017, but hasn’t ratified it yet owing to myths and prejudice, Grigore Moga, national trainer in combating of domestic violence, stated in an online event centering on the subject.
Arina Țurcan, lawyer for the Women’s Law Center, said that despite the rising number of reports concerning domestic violence, the number of criminal cases has declined. Another problem is the fact that beyond physical violence, other forms of domestic abuse are neglected in our country.
Also, Arina Țurcan noted that the victims of abuse most of the times are not represented by a lawyer in court: only 7% of the victims had access to qualified legal aid. At the same time, the infrastructure of courts of law does not offer the injured parties sufficient protection against intimidation on the part of other participants in the trial, while the period for examining cases concerning domestic violence is of over a year. The imposed punishments, such as community services and probation, do not sufficiently discourage the domestic abusers.
According to Arina Țurcan, the situation concerning domestic violence in the Republic of Moldova is more serious than in the EU: three in four women or 73% were subject to a form of abuse by the intimate partner. Three in four women, or 71%, were victims of psychological violence, while the EU average is of 43%. One third of the women in our country were subject to physical violence, the EU average being of 20%. 9% of the women in Moldova were victims of sexual violence, the EU average being of 7%.
Lilia Pacal, division head at the Ministry of Health, Labor and Social Protection, said that together with the ratification of the Istanbul Convention by Moldova, the violence against women and domestic violence will no longer be considered personal matters. The state will be obliged to prevent the abuse, to protect the victims of violence and to punish the abusers by complete and integrated policies.
The participants in the event noted that when the Istanbul Convention is ratified, the victims of violence will be able to seek damages from abusers for any of the offenses stipulated in the Convention. The alternative mandatory dispute resolution, including mediation, will have to be banned for all forms of violence regulated by the Convention.
The event titled “Istanbul Convention on its 10th Anniversary” was organized by the Council of Europe Office in Chisinau in the contest of Germany’s Presidency of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe.