The 16 Days Against Violence 2021 (25 Nov-10 Dec) are another powerful reminder that women and girls continue to be affected by gender-based violence and discrimination.
Violence against women is a human rights violation and has long been a focus topic at LBI-GMR. Women and girls are not a homogeneous group and sometimes differ significantly due to their biography and social/national origin. Experiences of exclusion and discrimination as well as dependency relationships increase the risk of violence. For many years, the LBI-GMR has therefore also been researching the situation of violence against women with disabilities, who are particularly affected by violence.
In addition to the legal framework, effective protection against violence requires well-functioning inter-institutional cooperation between all actors and appropriate knowledge and awareness, not only among professionals in the police, judiciary, schools and health care, but also among the general public. In the area of violence against women and domestic violence, the Istanbul Convention of the Council of Europe offers a comprehensive set of rules.
In the field of violence against women and domestic violence, the Istanbul Convention of the Council of Europe offers a comprehensive set of rules.
Within the framework of EU twinning projects, the LBI-GMR supports candidate countries of the EU enlargement as well as countries neighboring the EU in improving their human rights and rule of law standards, including the topic of protection against violence.
Since autumn 2020, our institute has been involved in an extensive EU project on the topic of protection against domestic violence in Azerbaijan. This multinational cooperation between Azerbaijan and the EU member states Lithuania and Austria, represented by the LBI-GMR, aims at strengthening capacities of state actors, especially protection and referral mechanisms at the local level, to ensure safety and protection of victims of domestic violence.
Azerbaijan adopted an extensive National Action Plan 2020-2023 against Domestic Violence in November 2020 to strengthen action against violence against women as well as children. The challenges are manifold and range from the prevalence of patriarchal family structures, especially in rural areas, to the consequences of armed conflicts in the Caucasus region, to insufficient structural capacities for effective cooperation between local actors (police, victim protection centers for women, children, families, health care, schools).
Currently, in November 2021, LBI-GMR is conducting an online "train-the-trainer"-program, focusing on comprehensive data collection and analysis on domestic violence. This is intended to strengthen capacity both to deal with individual cases of violence as well as ways to identify structural discrimination and other factors influencing violence against women. The target group are members of decentralized "monitoring groups" (police, local authorities for health, labor, education, institutions for victim protection), who are to ensure the coordinated protection and prevention of violence in the regions of Azerbaijan. Dunja Gharwal, Vienna Children’s and Youth Ombudsperson, and Helmut Sax, Senior Researcher at LBI-GMR, are the trainers of this course. So far, 80 people from Azerbaijan have participated - by the end of the year, 150 people will benefit from this knowledge and will be able to apply it in their daily work in cases of domestic violence in the future.
The Training Manual, which was created in the framework of this EU-funded project, can be found below in the download section.