The Police Family Justice Centre, a one-stop service for victims of domestic violence and victims of sexual violence, has been launched

Chisinau, October 10, 2023: A unique service created specifically for victims of domestic violence and sexual violence was launched today by the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The Police Family Justice Center was created through close collaboration between the authorities, civil society and development partners of the Republic of Moldova, to become a place of trust and safety for women and children facing serious situations of gender-based violence.

Present at the launch event, the President of the Republic of Moldova, Maia SANDU, emphasized:

“Often, victims face not only physical and mental trauma, but also ironies or stigmatization by family and community when they seek help to escape the brutality in their own home. It is not only this that makes many victims silent about their experience, but also the bureaucratic route, sometimes humiliating, that they must follow if they have the courage to ask for justice. Basically, this course reinforces the trauma, instead of relieving the pain. (..) Victims of domestic violence will be welcomed into a space where they will find safety and empathy, a space where they will be helped, not judged.”

The statistical data of the General Police Inspectorate, but also the reports of relevant organizations show that one of the main reasons why gender-based violence perpetuates in our society is the reluctance and fear of the victims to interact with the multitude of courts and services that should protect them.

The General Inspectorate of the Police registers an annual increase in the number of notifications of cases of gender-based violence, due to the increase in the professional capacities of specialists to react promptly, the existence of intersectoral referral and intervention mechanisms, but also the increase in the level of trust of the victims in the legal authorities. Thus, in 2022 alone, 2,471 cases of family violence were registered; 504 crimes that threaten sexual life, of which: 222 cases of rape and 282 cases of violent actions of a sexual nature and 403 crimes of a sexual nature against children. Data from the Lethality Commission shows that 24 women lost their lives as a result of violence by a family member or intimate partner, and a further 45 women suffered serious bodily harm.

The Minister of Internal Affairs, Adrian EFROS, declared:

“Through the creation of the Family Justice Center, family violence, crimes related to sexual life will be addressed in an integrated way through intersectoral cooperation of specialists from the police, justice, health, legal medicine, social protection, under the same roof, following the models of the operation of similar centers both in the European states as well as in the United States of America”.

The Ambassador of the United States of America to the Republic of Moldova, His Excellency Kent LOGSTON, emphasized:

“The United States proudly supports the efforts made by the Republic of Moldova to prevent and respond to gender-based violence. We appreciate our continued partnership to resolve this critical issue as part of the common goal of building a democratic, prosperous and secure future for all citizens of the Republic of Moldova”.

The center will operate according to the American model, which assumes that all authorities and specialists form a joint team and work promptly, starting from the needs of the victim, in his or her best interest. The novelty of this service for our country lies in the fact that the police, doctors, forensic doctors, lawyers, psychologists, social workers and specialists from several specialized NGOs work under the same roof 24/7 for women and children who need help emergency. The specialists who first come into contact with the victim collect the samples in operative mode. At the same time, the number of traumatic discussions and interrogations for survivors of violence is considerably reduced.

To call the Police Family Justice Center team for help, call 112 or call the Women and Girls Helpline – 0 8008 8008.

We appreciate the support of the United States of America to the sector of internal affairs for strengthening and innovating tools for the benefit of citizens that increase the quality of services and life. Thanks also to the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Te Doy Foundation.