Ministry of Justice figures on convicts and Blue Card (Niebieskiej Karty) procedures show that the problem of domestic violence is as relevant as ever, and the measures taken for many years to remedy the problem have not had the expected results. There is still very little awareness of the causes and nature of violence of this kind, even among judges and policy-makers.
The primary objective of the project is to diagnose the obstacles that for years have prevented domestic violence being eliminated, and to promulgate solutions that guarantee protection of the right to life, freedom, and personal safety, as well as just treatment of victims of domestic violence.
Under the project, court watch civic monitoring of court hearings will be conducted. Almost 100 volunteers will attend 50 court hearings in the capacity of independent observers. Cases will be found using the self-help portal of Fundacja www.wokandaobywatelska.pl. The observers will collect data on how a court operates and respect for the parties’ rights in domestic violence case rulings. Action will be taken to intervene on an ongoing basis when necessary.
The project will involve the largest review in Poland of records concerning 300 criminal cases under article 207 of the Criminal Code (mental and physical abuse). The project also envisages CAWI research into social attitudes toward perpetrators of abuse and detailed interviews with correctional and educational coordinators or coaches. In addition, a collection of best practices employed in other countries will be produced.
On the basis of the research and findings of the observations, a report will be produced that will provide a complete picture of the situation of perpetrators and victims of domestic violence in the justice system, and the existing shortcomings in the system. The report and the best practices will be the subject of a broad range of advocacy activities.