The project used different activities and approaches to tackle domestic violence in Liepāja and Klaipeda and had direct positive impact on victims and empowering cooperation at institutional level. Besides communication activities such as social media campaign (carried out on November – December 2019) and communication on regular basis contributed to positive changes in general public and encouraged society to be more supportive to domestic violence victims and acknowledge victims’ needs for professional assistance to end violence.
The project brought together different knowledge and expertise from municipal agencies and NGOs from Liepaja and Klaipeda– Liepaja City Council Social Services, Klaipeda City Family and Child Welfare Center, Municipal police of Liepaja, Custody Court of Liepaja City, Klaipeda City Municipality and NGOs – MARTA Centre in Liepaja and PO Klaipeda Social and Psychological Services Center. Joining experiences of Latvian project partners: MARTA Center in development of social services for victims in Rīga and Liepaja City Council Social Services experience and pro-active approach of Lithuanian partners: PO Klaipeda Social and Psychological Services Center and Klaipeda Family and Child Welfare Center to domestic violence cases was the key to establishing effective teamwork approach services for women and children victims of domestic violence in Liepāja. Lithuanian partners` developed pro-active approach where services providers pro-actively contact victims of violence after police calls was one of the most important element for interinstitutional cooperation which was piloted and implemented in Liepaja.
Besides the project contributed to introduction of new specialised services in MARTA Center for victims living in Liepaja and neighbouring municipalities. These services use one-stop agency and multidisciplinary approach where in one organisation – MARTA Centre there is available assistance of social worker, lawyer, psychologist and children psychologist. Lithuanian partners (PO Klaipeda Social and Psychological Services Center and Klaipeda Family and Child Welfare center) had opportunity to learn more about MARTA Center experience in tackling domestic violence at national level. Newly introduced services for domestic violence victims in Liepāja after the implementation of the project continue to be developed and demand from public increases year by year. For example in 2018 MARTA Center in Liepāja provided assistance to 42 women victims, in 2019 – 67, in 2020 – 79. As shows evaluation of services caried out within the project victims who received services within the project mostly highlights benefits of one-stop agency approach, professionalism and short waiting time.
Victim centred and needs based inter-institutional cooperation model in work with women and children victims of domestic violence was established in Liepāja and Klaipeda and activities to ensure models` development in future were implemented.
Objective was achieved by implementing several activities complementing each other and involving not only project partners, but also other stakeholders such as municipal and state agencies, courts, prosecutor offices, academia and NGOs. First step was to understand the scope of the problem and give a voice to victims to share their experience with agencies and accessibility of services, similarities and differences in Liepaja and Klaipeda and good practices of each countries. Answers to these questions were sought through research activities resulted in report. The report gave a guidance to ways how to improve overall response to domestic violence at municipal level. On basis of findings of research joint training for 34 specialists in Klaipeda was held with following national specific trainings in each city. Trainings were followed by piloting new practices in each city, for example in Liepaja, new risk assessment form for police were introduced. The forms filled out by police officers were delivered to LP and PP3 to ensure that victims after police intervention receive full information about services available for victims. Specific guidelines were developed in Liepaja for police officers and social workers to enhance victim centred response to domestic violence and inter-agency cooperation. As a conclusion of the project collaboration plan between Liepaja and Klaipeda was developed whereas framework for future collaboration was set and areas of cooperation indicated. Also each city developed their own plans on how to increase effectiveness of communication and cooperation between institutions dealing with violence cases, and awareness of domestic violence in general public to ensure sustainability of project results.
Produced materials for download:
Report on Evaluation of Services to Domestic Violence Victims (ENG)
Liepaja city Interinstitutional Cooperation Development Plan (LV)
Guidelines for specialists working with domestic violence victims in Liepaja (LV)
Klaipeda city Interinstitutional Cooperation Developement Plan (ENG)
Liepaja and Klaipeda collaboration plan (ENG)