By Sanela Nikolic -
Given that we as a world are affected by the Covid 19, the fact is that it affects us not only in terms of health but also in all other spheres of life.
As a police officer, I can say that there are more and more reports of domestic violence. Opinions are divided, but mostly everyone is of the opinion that the violence culminated as a consequence of imprisonment in families as well as the financial crisis of the family.
Every report is different, but we cannot call every quarrel between spouses or family members domestic violence.
Family violence is behavior by which a family member endangers the physical integrity, mental health or tranquility of another or other family members. Everyone has the right to protection from domestic violence, in accordance with the law.
Domestic violence takes many forms in partnerships. Psychological violence, as one of the forms, is disturbing the peace by applying threats, insults and humiliating, as well as controlling the victim by monitoring.
Economic violence is also a form of psychological violence, which is characterized by denial of access to the bank account and money, prevention of employment etc.
Physical violence that is intended to cause injury, pain, disability or even death.
Sexual violence, that is, a sexual act without the consent of the other person may be intentionally provoked by psychoactive substances, a sexual act under threat or the fact that the victim is unable to defend itself due to illness or disability.
A family member is considered to be: spouses, their children, ancestors of spouses in the direct line of blood relationship, extramarital partners and their children, adoptive parent and adoptee, brothers and sister and their spouses and children, ex-spouses and their children and parents of ex-spouses, even if they are not living at the same house.
Everyone who is a victim of family violence should report to the police.
But the police can find out in various ways that domestic violence has been committed, directly, indirectly, and on their own initiative. When the victim voluntarily reports violence, from an anonymous or some known person, reported by an employee of the Health Center, the Center for Social Work or other institutions.
What will the police do after call of domestic violence?
Upon arrival at the scene, the patrol will stop the violence according to their powers, they will determine your relationship with the person who was reported to be committing violence, after which they will ask you about the circumstances of the event, ie the circumstances of the possible injury. Some detail may seem unimportant to you, and it may be important to the police. That is why it is important that you tell everything. Whether a person used a weapon or tools during the commission of violence, whether he possesses a weapon, is very important information for further action.
They will call an ambulance for you or refer you to a hospital for an examination, depending on whether you have an injury and what the injuries are.If the perpetrator is present, he will be questioned by the patrol, if he possesses a weapon, it will be confiscated, regardless of whether it was used during the violence. After that, a police officer who specializes in domestic violence will be contacted, who will decide on further actions of the patrol, but the prosecutor will decide on further measures and actions regarding the case.
Many victims give up on further prosecution of the perpetrator, already after the arrival of the patrol. Many people consider it a simple quarrel, domestic violence. Also, many victims suffer domestic violence without any reports until it ends, unfortunately, with a fatal consequence. Keep in mind that children are also victims of domestic violence, by watching one of the parents commit violence and if they are not suffering physically, they are in psychical torture.
In order to stop or at least to a greater extent prevent domestic violence, additional training and education of all services dealing with these problems should be conducted: social, judicial, and police. It is necessary for the whole society to face the existence of this problem and for all of us to take steps to prevent violence and help the victims, in order to avoid fatal consequences.
By Sanela Nikolic, Serbia State Police Officer
IPO Headquarters - Special Division