This project concerns measures to counteract killing and abuse of women. A vast majority of femicide cases occur in their own home at the hands of their current or former partner, or other relative. Each year in Poland, approximately 400-500 women lose their lives due to domestic abuse. Often, courts do not convict partners for murder but for deadly assault. These decisions are made due to gender stereotypes and a failure to understand the problem of gender-based violence. Judges find justification for the perpetrators and interpret intentions other than murder; public prosecutors and judges lack knowledge of the psychological mechanisms affecting the actions of abuse victims and perpetrators.
This is a project to create a Femicide Observatory. 50-60 trained spokeswomen will monitor and diagnose cases involving women’s deaths. Women who suffer harm, and their families and those close to them will be given legal and psychological support – the Project Promoter plans to create a network of lawyers (20 persons) and a network of psychologists and social workers (30-40 persons) to provide support. There will be 2 events in memory of murdered women, and 20 public happenings and campaigns. The Project Promoter will also take on strategic court litigation at national level. In connection with the advocacy activities, a proposal for legislative and institutional amendments will be drawn to enable the danger to be assessed effectively and to protect women and children against severe injury and murder.
The project aims to provide support for abused women and those close to them, improve their feeling of safety, and ensure effective women’s agency in bringing perpetrators to justice. There will be greater public awareness, including of judges and public prosecutors regarding the role and responsibility of the state and state agencies in providing effective protection of lives and the health of women and their children, and also of the role of witnesses of abuse.