Collaboration between police and civil society = prompt support offered to survivors of domestic violence
Ana* came in a hurry to the police station nr. 3 from Buiucani district of Chisinau Municipality. Threatened and disoriented she came to ask for help in the first hours of the morning.
Ana is 30 years old. She told police officers that her husband was violent to her from the beginning of their relationship, and he was becoming more and more aggressive. Not even the birth of their children has tamed his behavior, as she was hoping.
In that morning, he came home at 4 o’clock, and attacked her. He asked her to withdraw all her complaints from the police. To save her life, Ana promised to do so. All this happened under their children’s eyes.
“Both children describe with horror what happened. They saw father dragging and hitting their mother. They were scared, but their father locked them in their room,” notes Ruslan, the police officer who dealt with her case.
To help Ana, the police has cooperated with an NGO that offered psychological counselling and legal assistance:
“Our cooperation with civil society brings many advantages, the most important one being the prompt support offered to victims. Together with the civil society representative, we discuss about the case with victims, to decide what to do next,” tells the police officer.
After evaluating the risks, the police officer issued an emergency restraining order. Later, the lawyer of the non-governmental organization obtained in court a protection order for three months. Then Ana divorced, and obtained the children’s custody, so as an alimony from the ex-spouse.
Today, Ana and her children are safe, she has more and more confidence in her future.
“I was so afraid that he would hurt or take away my children. I didn’t know where to ask for help. I was lucky that at the police station I found not only protection but also counseling and advice on what I could do,” notes Ana.
Due to many interventions of police to combat domestic violence in the last years, the number of such cases decreased with 10%, comparing to 2017. In 2018, 2,655 cases were registered, involving more than 2,200 women as victims of domestic violence.
The police station nr. 3/Buiucani from Chisinau is the first one redesigned to support community policing, being accessible and open to engage with community members. This police station piloted a new way of partnering with civil society. So, a space was dedicated to host various community activities, briefings with citizens, consultations by the representatives of NGOs offered to victims of offences.
“Our police station is innovative not only from the architectural and space planning perspective, but also from the way we engage with community members and consider their needs and expectations,” concludes Sergiu Moruz, chief of the police station nr. 3/Buiucani.
The police station nr. 3 was redesigned in the framework of the UNDP project “Support to police reform”, funded by the U.S. Government and UNDP, being reopened in October 2017. A year later, with support of the same project, the police station from Singerei town was reopened being completely transformed based on the model of the station nr. 3.
These police stations transformed thought the engagement of community in the redesigning process, reflect a new vision on the policing activity oriented towards women and men. The new design paves the way for an improved cooperation between police and community.
* the name of the person has been modified to protect her identity.