Domestic violence is on the rise: in 2023, 2.114 people reported being abused

The past 2023 year, 2.114 people reported to the police that they were victims of domestic violence. Statistics maintained by the Ministry of the Interior show that the number of reports of domestic violence has been increasing in recent years, but they still do not reflect the real number in the country, because some victims still do not have the courage to report to the police.

According to the data of the Ministry of the Interior, quarterly, the largest number of cases of domestic violence were reported in the middle of the year, ie in the period from July to September when there were 1.558 reports, while the least in the months of April, May and June when 85 victims reported domestic violence.

At the beginning of 2023 year, from January to March, 230 people reported that they were victims of domestic violence, most of them were women or 181, and 49 were men. During this period, 42 victims were attacked by their sons. According to the areas of the departments of internal affairs, the largest number of cases were recorded in SVR Skopje, followed by SVR Bitola, while the fewest cases of domestic violence were reported in SVR Veles.

The lowest number of reports of domestic violence occurred in the period from April to June. During that period, the Ministry of the Interior recorded 85 cases of domestic violence. In these months, 34 men reported that they were victims of domestic violence.

In the third quarter, in the months of July, August and September, there were the largest number of reports of domestic violence, as many as 1.558. The biggest number of victims reported that they were psychologically abused.

At the end of 2023 year there were 241 reports of domestic violence for the months of October, November and December, and two people lost their lives during that period.

Unlike 2023 year, in 2022 year 1.191 victims of domestic violence were recorded. The most numerous of them were women, i.e. 942. The biggest number of the perpetrators of crimes within the framework of domestic violence were men, ie 1.061. Sons were also recorded as executors, 171.

As victims in 2022 year there were also men, ie 249 people. Of them, 25 were husbands in married unions, and three were registered as part of an extramarital union.

Seen by cities, the most cases of domestic violence in 2022 year there were in Skopje, followed by Bitola, Tetovo and Veles.

What are the powers of the police when reporting a case of domestic violence

The police are obliged to act on every report of gender-based violence against women and domestic violence, regardless of whether it was received by phone, application of a report for receiving a report in official police premises, report from a third party (relatives, friends, neighbors...), through notification from another institution (Center for social affairs, educational institutions...).

Every time a report is made by phone, the procedure consists of a mandatory exit to the scene by the police in order to prevent the perpetrator from continuing the violence and to provide assistance to the victim and family members.

In cases where the report is submitted to the police station or received by another institution, the same measures are taken as and when it comes to acute violence, i.e. the police are obliged to make an appropriate risk assessment in which the situation and circumstances related to the currently reported violence, the history of violence (whether violence has occurred before, whether there are previously imposed protective measures for the perpetrator) are determined etc.). Also important is the frequency of violence, threats to the victim or family members with violence and/or with weapons or tools suitable for attack, the perpetrator's access to weapons, especially firearms. For the police, it is important whether the victim was locked up, whether he was banned from going out, banned from contacting friends and relatives. It is necessary to know whether the attacker controlled the victim, pursued, followed, stalked, whether the stalking was followed by threats or active physical violence or threatened her with murder. Then there are checks in the police records (whether the person owns a firearm, whether he has been reported for other crimes etc.) After the risk assessment has been carried out, and by 12 at the latest hours from the intervention of the event, the police officers prepare a police report on the intervention carried out following a report of gender-based violence against women and family violence.

In the event that it is estimated that there is a risk of serious danger to the life and physical and mental integrity of the victim and his family members or a risk of repetition of the violence, the police officer from the competent organizational unit for criminal matters immediately, and no later than 12 hours, after drawing up the risk assessment and the police report, submits a proposal to the competent court for the imposition of an emergency protection measure - removal of the perpetrator from the home and a ban on approaching the home, without the consent of the victim.

If the victim has left the home (to report to the police station, referred for medical assistance or other reasons), and needs to return to the home to get personal belongings, the police officers are obliged to provide an escort to her home, with in order to guarantee her safety.

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