Laws, support and funding
From our forums: "I had no help, neither from the authorities, nor from the people around me. The institutions aren't observant enough and the people around me always played down these attacks or persuaded me that I was to blame for them."
Violence against women: The victims are left alone © Jupiter
"He was arrested and taken to the police station, then he was convicted. But after only two months he was released and I had no protection."
Our readers often state that the victims of violence don't get enough help …
And that is true. Often it is not clear who is responsible for what and which means are available. The situation is the same virtually everywhere: social organizations and initiatives look after the women. The state only takes responsibility for the perpetrators.
Are there countries where it is different?
Spain and the Scandinavian countries are quite advanced in this respect. There, legislation has been improved and the infrastructure for victims expanded. In some of the new member states there is also the will, but there is still a lack of protective institutions.
But you seem to be very skeptical with these examples …
I'll tell you one thing: everybody knows of some "best practice examples". The problem is that these must be available throughout a country to prove effective. In the end what is important in concrete terms is the number of incidents in relation to the number of prosecutions or victim institutions. If we only achieve 0.1 percent, then where does that get us? If you only help ten women out of ten thousand, what has really changed?
But that is often also a question of funding …
Yes, of course money needs to be made available. We want money to be provided for the concrete measures, but we also want the way it is distributed to be examined. It is not acceptable for limitless funds to be made available for the perpetrators and then a lump sum for the victims to be thrown at the social institutions for them to fight over.
Ms. Levy, thank you very much for the interesting conversation.