USAID’s Civil Society Organizations Week: Access to Justice for Women Who Have Endured Domestic Violence

On June 20 in Skopje, the ESE Association organized a panel discussion on the topic "Access to justice for women who suffered from domestic violence" as part of the "Civil Society Week" organized within the USAID’s Civic Engagement Project.

The meeting was attended by representatives from the Centre for Social Welfare (CSW), Ministry of Interior, civil law and criminal law judges, as well as representatives of many civil society organizations. This panel discussion was organized in order to discuss the existing problems in the system of legal protection against domestic violence, as well as to define recommendations for their overcoming and improving the work of the courts and other institutions involved in providing assistance and protection to women who suffered domestic violence. To this end, during the event, the main problems faced by the institutions, as well as the main obstacles that prevent the victims from gaining free legal protection from domestic violence were elaborated in detail, and appropriate solutions were proposed to improve the current situation.

The participants were addressed by Stojan Mihov, retired criminal law judge, Zora Trenevska, retired judge from the Court of Appeals, Radmila Karanovic, civil law judge in Basic Court Skopje 2 and Natasha Boskova, attorney in ESE’s Legal Aid Centre for women who suffered domestic violence. ESE has presented the main findings of the conducted court monitoring on domestic violence cases for the period from March to May 2018.

Several participants from CSW, MOI and CSO’s have actively participated the discussion and provided constructive suggestions for overcoming the identified problems. The general conclusion is that co-operation and coordination between all stakeholders in this field is necessary for systematic and long-term prevention and protection of women who have suffered domestic violence.

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