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Violence against women and girls is a widespread social, global health problem that transcends borders and occurs in all cultures and societies around the world, including our country. This phenomenon, appearing in various forms, negatively affects the physical, psychological, economic and social integrity of the affected target groups.

Referring to the statistics obtained from the national survey based on the population 2018 “On Violence against Women and Girls in Albania” published by INSTAT, *it is shown that 1 in 3 women, or 36.6% of women experienced “currently” violence.

Law No. 9669, dated 18.12.2006 “On Measures against Domestic Violence” underwent several changes in 2018, changes which improved the definition of domestic violence and includes a better protection for women and children in situations of risk of immediate through the police order for immediate protection measures; better defined responsibilities of state institutions that have legal responsibilities to vulnerable persons, improved judicial system procedures and the establishment of crisis management centers in the hospital emergency service for the treatment of cases of sexual violence, as well as provided protection for persons who are involved in physical and / or emotional relationships with their abusers. However, despite the strengthening of the law and the provisions in the Criminal Code and the Family Code, the protection of these categories does not seem to be guaranteed in the best possible way, that’s why the legislator recently with law no. 125/2020 On Some Additions and Amendments to Law no. 9669, dated 18.12.2006 “On Measures against Domestic Violence”, as amended, decided to legitimize a harsher punishment and apply some more guarantees.

First in the category of protected persons, in addition to children, the elderly, persons with disabilities, special attention is paid to guaranteeing protection for the category of girls and women.
It also brings a change in the concept of the suspect or defendant for the exercise of domestic violence, where previously there was a division depending on gender, while with the latest changes it is referred to only as “Violator”.

The competent institution for issuing the protection order has been and continues to be the Court, but unlike before where the sanction was to stop committing or threatening to commit the act of violence against the victim or other family members, now a guarantee is provided more for the abused party as the Abuser must leave the apartment immediately for a specified period of time. This is seen as the most drastic measure taken for all those cases when no other measure guarantees the protection of the victim from the abuser, but it does not always find application because this immediate removal from the apartment is impossible when the abuser is a minor, elderly, or a person with a disability.

The punishment of these cases has not always led to the curbing of this phenomenon in our society, so another added measure is the obligation of the abuser to participate in psychosocial programs and parenting programs organized by private and public entities and if the abuser does not take part at these rehabilitation programs, the provisions of the Criminal Code will be applied to him for actions contrary to the court decision on the protection order.

Taking into account the reality in which we are living but also due to the urgent nature of these cases, a delegation from the Court to the head of the responsible structure of the State Police for issuing orders for precautionary measures for immediate protection is foreseen, when extraordinary measures have been imposed throughout the country.

Protection orders are a temporary measure and their issuance without being accompanied by further criminal proceedings has resulted in insufficient protection of the victim’s integrity. The law stipulates that when a request for a protection order is submitted by the police or the prosecution in court, even if the victim who felt pressured wants to withdraw the lawsuit or terminate the criminal proceedings, this should not lead to the non-adjudication of the initiated case. The reasons for the withdrawal of victims from denunciations or criminal proceedings are well known, so public institutions must be rigorous in law enforcement.

The role of a sanction is to punish, curb and prevent the phenomenon, but these coercive measures do not achieve the full goal if they are not lobbied to raise public awareness, do not support the figure of women and girls, do not initiate processes to punish abusers or no activities are undertaken to help women build their social and economic independence.

It is the right of everyone to live life without feeling violated for what they represent.

*http://www.instat.gov.al/media/6121/publikimi-dhuna-ndaj-grave-dhe-vajzave.pdf

 

Prepared by

Lawyer Sara Xhaferi