OSCE encourages development of partnership model to prevent domestic violence in Armenia

The Social Justice NGO with the support of the OSCE Office in Yerevan presented today the results and key findings of a project on developing a partnership model for domestic violence prevention by strengthening police units in Armenia.

The pilot project was implemented by the Social Justice NGO from March 2014 in the Kanaker-Zeitun, Avan, and Nor Norq communities of Yerevan and in Vanadzor, Lori province. The aim was to develop a working co-operation model between police units and other involved state and non-state actors in the community as a joint multi-structure mechanism to address domestic violence cases.

“Domestic violence is a serious abuse and violation of human rights fundamentals, and it is also a source and precursor of criminality. The police have an important role to play in combating and eradicating domestic violence, however a multi-agency holistic approach and response is needed”, said Lilian Salaru, OSCE Office in Yerevan Politico-Military Programme Officer. . “As part of its Police Assistance Programmewe had supported this important project aimed at building professional capacities for police in preventing and combating domestic violence, and specifically involved police officers from the Department of Juveniles and Domestic Violence Prevention”.

In the course of the project, around 70 meetings were organized between police units and other interested parties in the communities to discuss and come up with a suitable mechanism of co-operation based on the practice of responding to domestic violence cases. Community police officers, representatives of police units on juvenile cases, social services and civil society active in the fieldshared their experiences, perceptions and conclusions on the initiative.

Arshak Gasparyan, President of the Social Justice NGO, said: “One of the outcomes of the project was the change in attitude towards domestic violence among police officers, and the enhanced mutual confidence and co-operation between police and other state and non-state actors”.

OSCE Office in Yerevan has been promoting police reform in Armenia since 2008.

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