Risk assessment: protecting women from lethal violence
More than one woman was killed every day by an intimate partner or family member in the EU on average in 2016. To help police prevent repeated acts of intimate partner violence and save lives, the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) has developed a risk assessment guide for police.
“With proper training, and allocation of resources where they are most needed, our guide can help police improve victim safety. In the long run, this can help to improve trust in police and encourage reporting,” says Virginija Langbakk, EIGE’s director in the lead up to the international day to eliminate violence against women.
One of the innovative aspects of the guide is the multi-agency approach to risk assessment, which is not a common practice around the EU. In most cases, the victims of violence are treated in isolation, with different authorities working in silos.
EIGE’s guide shows the benefit of the police, justice and health sectors working together to make sure that victims get the essential services in time. These can range from counselling services to financial assistance.
The guide also recommends that an individual risk assessment strategy be developed in close cooperation with the victim. It should take their specific situation and needs into account to ensure that they are protected in a way that best fits their needs and those of their children.
EIGE’s risk assessment guide can also assist Member States with their reporting obligations under the Istanbul Convention, Victims’ Rights Directive and EU protection order legislation. It offers a way to transform articles from these legal texts into concrete actions on the ground.
In addition to the guide, EIGE has also published a report that gives an overview of risk assessment and management practices in each EU Member State. It outlines the approach taken by each country, identifies gaps and challenges, and proposes a way to improve the existing policies.
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