On January 26th 2017, Croatian Parliament, in its first reading, discussed the Draft of Law on Protection from Domestic Violence.
One of the main issues to be regulated by this law are standards and obligations of the Republic of Croatia in accordance with the international documents regulating this issue, primarily the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul Convention), signed by the Republic of Croatia on January 22nd 2013, but still not ratified, although the Convention entered into force on August 1st 2014.
Sanja Miščević – Secretary of State at the Ministry of Justice, during the presentation of the proposed law in the Croatian Parliament, pointed out that Croatia is obliged to align its legislation with the legal legacy of the European Union, the Istanbul Convention and Directive Council of Europe. She also added that the Draft of Law on Protection from Domestic Violence has been maid according to the same standards.
Croatian Women’s Network, Autonomous Women’s House Zagreb and Lesbian Group Kontra sent their comments to the proponent, namely they presented those demands at the Session of the Committee for Gender Equality of Croatian Parliament.
Once again, we would like to address the public and relevant authorities, in order to point out to the fact that the named Law Proposal is not in compliance with the Istanbul Convention.
The name of the proposed Law does not follow the Convention directions and it omits naming women as victims of gender-based violence.
The definition of victims is too narrow and does not include women victims of partner violence, which includes woman that were in intimate relationships with their partners, who didn’t have a child from this relationship and did not live at the same address with their partners.
Partner violence is not happening only in the family. Women should receive adequate protection from violence, regardless of their marital and family status, as guaranteed by the above mentioned international documents.