Enhancing efforts to prevent and respond to domestic violence in the Republic of Croatia
Domestic violence is a serious problem in the Republic of Croatia. According to a 2007 survey, domestic violence affects one in three families in Croatia, and up to 40% of Croatian citizens know at least one victim of domestic violence. In 2009 there were approximately 377 reported perpetrators of domestic violence per 100,000 people. Women are overwhelmingly the target of domestic violence; in Croatia, they make up only 3-12% of the perpetrators but 70-83% of the victims. The ready availability of firearms, a legacy of the 1991-95 conflict, continues to be a concern. Up-to-date statistics are not available, but financial crises of the sort experienced by Croatia in 2009-10 are known to increase the incidence of domestic violence. (Read Project Summary...)
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The 'Leading a life without violence' campaign organized by the Croatian Ministry of Interior (MUP) with support from the United Nations in Croatia concluded today with a Christmas concert and the presentation of awards to the five best works of art submitted by elementary school students as part of a nationwide contest aimed at raising awareness of domestic violence.
Many public figures took part in 'Leading a life without violence' videos, such as Croatian president Ivo Josipović, Croatian interior minister Tomislav Karamarko, world's best athlete in 2010 Blanka Vlašić, the first Croatian UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and musician Zlatan Stipišić Gibonni, coach of the Croatian national football team Slaven Bilić, as well as many others.
To mark the November 25, International Day for the Prevention of Violence against Women, the campaign 'Leading a life without violence' was launched by the Ministry of Interior and United Nations in Croatia on 8 November 2010. The goal of prevention activities is to bring awareness to the public on the issue of violence and to encourage citizens, especially victims, to report domestic violence.
Six Croatian ministries today signed an agreement to cooperate in the fight against domestic violence and violence against women. The agreement, signed by the ministries of Interior; Justice; Public Administration; Family, Veterans Affairs, and Intergenerational Solidarity; Health and Welfare; and Science, Education, and Sports, has the support of the United Nations (UN) in Croatia.
As part of the campaign, every police department in the twenty Croatian counties organized a special educational and entertainment program in a selected school or family center.
Marking the occasion of International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on 25 November, the UN team in Croatia launched a new program to support Croatia's efforts to combat domestic violence. The program, supported by an initial $50,000 in UN seed funding, was announced at a roundtable discussion organized jointly with the Ministry of Family, Veterans Affairs and Intergenerational Solidarity.
Working together with the Ministry for Family, Veterans Affairs, and Intergenerational Solidarity, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has launched an effort to assess the social and economic costs of domestic violence, which surveys suggest affects as many as one in every three families in Croatia.