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Domestic violence, domestic violence. The anti-violence project was returned to committee

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Due to the submitted amendments to the draft amendment to the Act on counteracting domestic violence, the regulation was sent back to the Social Policy and Family Committee. Changes were proposed by both the opposition and Law and Justice.

On Wednesday, the Sejm held the second reading of the government’s draft amendment to the Act on Counteracting Domestic Violence. Due to the submitted amendments, the regulation was sent back to the Social Policy and Family Committee.

The amendments to the draft assume, among others, the loss of the right to possess weapons by the perpetrator of violence, a change in the definition of domestic violence and the extension of the title of the act on counteracting violence against women.

During the debate on the second reading of the draft novella, Teresa Wargocka (PIS) emphasized that the discussed solutions correspond to social expectations. She noted that the works in the Sejm on the act are substantive and the regulation has gained the favor of parliamentary clubs.

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She stated that it is very important defining that a child who witnesses violence is also its victim. She announced the submission of an amendment that provides that people who have a Blue Card and have the right to own a gun will lose such rights.

Rosa: Blue Card statistics do not reflect the scale of violence

Monika Rosa from the Civic Coalition said that the amendment in question is a consequence of many appeals from circles that protect people experiencing violence. She emphasized that the Civic Coalition supports many provisions of this project. However, as she pointed out, the current shape of the project is “quite little”. The deputy reminded that during the work of the parliamentary committee, the opposition’s amendments had not been adopted.

Monika Rosa from the Civic Coalition clubTVN24

The MP asked Anna Schmidt, Deputy Family Minister present in the Sejm, whether she believed that the system of counteracting domestic violence was optimal. – Will it be possible to introduce an analysis of cases of fatal child abuse in Poland? Will the courts have a maximum of three months to decide on a child’s status, instead of over three years as it is now? the MP asked.

She also stated that the statistics of the Blue Card did not reflect the scale of violence. “We have Blue Cards, violence against children, and at the same time we have a very low number of convictions for this violence,” Rosa pointed out. She emphasized that women are the most common victims of violence.

The Left for Changing the Definition of Domestic Violence

Anita Kucharska-Dziedzic (Left) assessed that extending the title of the act to “counteracting violence against women would show our attitude to this phenomenon”, because – as she pointed out – domestic violence mostly affects women.

The MP was in favor of changing the definition of domestic violence so as to remove from it the physical, mental and economic “advantage” of the perpetrator. Kucharska-Dziedzic argued that violence is not always associated with the use of advantage and the relevant services may have a problem with interpreting this statement. She proposed amendments in this case.

Proceedings of the SejmPAP

According to Bożena Żelazowska (Polish Coalition), the solutions provided for in the project “go in the right direction”. – My only concern is that this law does not provide people in need with access to therapy at a rapid pace. I would not like the waiting time for therapy to last as long as it does today, because then these provisions will be far from sufficient, emphasized Żelazowska. At the same time, she informed that the KP would support this regulation.

Mirosław Suchoń (Koło Polska 2050) assessed that the solutions contained in the project “are a step in the right direction”. He noted that the regulations could be better, but the government did not support the amendments submitted by Poland 2050 during the work in the committee.

Joanna Senyszyn (from the Polish Socialist Party) stressed that violence must be combated by all possible means. “Whether this bill will contribute to that remains to be seen in the course of its implementation,” she added.

Deputy family minister: the project is optimal

Deputy Minister of Family and Government Plenipotentiary for Equal Treatment, Anna Schmidt, emphasized that the project will still evolve in the course of parliamentary work.

Responding to questions from deputies, the deputy minister pointed out that the consultations on the act lasted a year and a half and took into account the views of the social side. She emphasized that this is a very big change, many regulations have been tightened, including those concerning compulsory referral to therapy.

– The design is optimal. It meets the expectations of people experiencing violence. Everything is, of course, still to be refined in the course of work, stressed Schmidt.

She indicated that in 2015 the funds spent on counteracting domestic violence amounted to PLN 16 million, and in 2022 – over PLN 25 million. – A new national program will be prepared. We assume an increase in these funds – announced the deputy head of the Ministry of Agriculture and Social Policy.

Draft amendment to the Act on Counteracting Domestic Violence

The draft amendment prepared by the Ministry of Family and Social Policy assumes i.a. change the term “domestic violence” to “domestic violence”. The draft also provides for the inclusion of economic violence and cyberbullying in the definition of domestic violence.

The project extends the circle of persons covered by protection to ex-partners who do not live together and children who are witnesses of domestic violence. In turn, a “person using domestic violence” should be understood as both a person using domestic violence and a person suspected of using such violence.

In addition, the draft also provides for changes in the Blue Card procedure. For example, a provision was introduced obliging the diagnostic and assistance group to monitor the situation of people or families affected by domestic violence, as well as those at risk of its occurrence, also after the completion of the Blue Cards procedure. A provision has also been added to enable the diagnostic and assistance group to work via electronic means of communication.

The regulation also provides for the introduction of provisions on a new form of support, i.e. psychological and therapeutic programs for people using domestic violence. It also provides for the introduction of provisions enabling the submission of a notification of a misdemeanor committed by a person using domestic violence, in the event of persistent evasion of the person using domestic violence from participating in corrective and educational or psychological and therapeutic programmes.

Main photo source: PAP

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