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null Intervention in domestic violence quite efficient in Europe

Intervention in domestic violence quite efficient in Europe

30.4.2020 12.00
News item

Intervention in domestic violence quite efficient in Europe

A study conducted in eight European countries indicates that authorities are fairly capable of intervening in domestic violence.

The IMPRODOVA project - Improving Frontline Responses to High Impact Domestic Violence - studies the cooperation between authorities and other parties. A total of 296 professionals in eight countries were interviewed in the framework of the IMPRODOVA project in 2019. Based on the results of the study, the countries were fairly successful in implementing their international human rights obligations. The police had sufficient authority for efficient intervention in violence in all of the countries. The authority includes such rights as imposing a temporary restraining order and detaining a suspect.

The shortcomings detected in the study mostly involved training professionals on the many forms of violence in close relationships and domestic violence, delays in investigation times of the cases and, in some areas, the number of specialized police officers.

“There are only a few professionals with specialized training in the prevention of domestic violence in Finland, too. However, to able to efficiently intervene in domestic violence, professionals must have a clear understanding of their own role and responsibilities and those of others and they must be able to identify the risk factors of domestic violence from the first customer contact,” states researcher Marianne Mela from the Police University College.

Challenges in cooperation between professionals and recording acts of violence

Only a part of the countries has systematic tools for assessing the recurring domestic violence risk indicators. In the countries that employ some type of a tool, professionals long for more training on how to use the methods.

The professionals who were interviewed thought that there were shortcomings in multidisciplinary cooperation and recording acts of violence. It was detected that the variation in recording practices decreases the ability to intervene in violence efficiently.

The respondents of the study viewed the opportunity to specialize in the prevention and recognition of domestic violence a strength. It also improves the efficiency and speed of assessing the risk of violence. The structures of cooperation that focus on improving the safety of the victim were considered to work well. Several references were made to MARAC, the Scottish Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conference, as a good practice, and it is applied widely also in Finland.

The interviews emphasized the need to better coordinate cooperation between various professionals which could make the communication of information more efficient as well as to develop practical methods and new IT solutions.

The study clarified how the police and other frontline operators, for example social and healthcare professionals, intervene with domestic violence in various European countries (Germany, France, Austria, Portugal, Slovenia, Great Britain/Scotland, Hungary and Finland). The responses by the professionals were reflected against the legislation and guidelines in force in each country as well as the international human rights obligations.

IMPRODOVA is an EU-funded research and innovation project for improving the responses of the police and other frontline responders to domestic violence in European countries. Participants from Finland include the Police University College and the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare. The project is ongoing until the spring of 2021.

Project website: improdova.eu

Project on the Police University College website: polamk.fi/tki/projektihaku/improdova

Research publications are available free of charge in English:

The implementation of international norms and national best practices of frontline responders to domestic violence

Risk assessment and case documentation instruments used by frontline responders of Domestic Violence

Identifying gaps and bridges of intra-and inter-agency cooperation

News Police University College Press releases imported from old site

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