The Government has introduced the Provisional Protection Order whereby police officers can immediately remove the aggressor from the household

08 February

The Government approved the draft Law on amending the Law no. 217/2003 on preventing and combating domestic violence, introducing new measures for the immediate protection of the victim and removal of the aggressor.

The document approved by the Government regulates the Provisional Protection Order (OPP), an administrative instrument that will allow the police to intervene quickly in imminent danger situations for the health and safety of the domestic violence victim and to immediately remove the aggressor from the household.

The Provisional Protection Order is different from the Protection Order (OP), which is already regulated by law since 2012. Practically, the Provisional Protection Order is an instrument complementary to the Protection Order, it is issued immediately by the police officer, it is enforceable, without deadline or summons, valid for 5 days, with the possibility of extension until the Protection Order is issued.

After the police officer issues the OPP, the document will be confirmed by the prosecutor based on the testimonies and evidence collected by the police officer. Subsequently, the prosecutor is required to transmit the OPP together with all the evidence existing in the case file to the judge, who will subsequently issue an OP(protection order).

Under the current regulation, the police officer will have the right and the duty to go to the victim's home, to enter home, even by force, and to issue an OPP whereby to immediately remove the aggressor, even if the aggressor is the owner of the property contract.

OPP will be issued on the basis of a risk assessment sheet, whereby the police officer determines the degree of risk based on the on-site assessment. If the risk is high or very high for the victim, the police officer will issue an OPP whereby the following measures may be ordered regarding the aggressor:

 

Eviction from household with ban on return as long as the OPP is valid

Establishing a minimum distance from victim (at home, work, school, as the case may be);

Seizure of the agressor’s keys, weapons.

OPP and OP will be monitored by police officers, non-observance of the measures ordered through the two instruments constitutes an offense, punishable by 1 month to 1 year in prison.

In the monitoring process, the police officer will make permanent checks by all means to make sure that the measures imposed on the aggressor are observed(home visits, gathering information from neighbors, victim’s workplace, school, as the case may be). Also, after the OPP issuance, the police officer will ensure that the rights of the aggressor are observed through measures aimed at accurate information about the OPP and guidance to a specialized social service for hosting and counseling.

Under this order, the aggressor is also obliged to permanently wear an electronic surveillance system (electronic bracelet) in the following conditions:

The aggressor was obliged to keep a minimum distance from the victim, her children or her relatives or the residence, workplace or educational establishment attended by the protected person;

The aggressor was barred from travelling to certain designated localities or areas that the protected person frequent or visit periodically;

The use of the electronic surveillance system will be made possible if the victim and, where appropriate, her family members express their agreement to wear such a system that allows verification of the aggressor's compliance with his obligation.

The legal regime of the electronic surveillance system used to verify the observance of the protection measures will be subsequently established by law.

We mention that such an electronic surveillance system can be found in the Criminal Procedure Code, Law no. 253/2013 and Law 254/2013.

These instruments aim to improve assistance granted to victims of domestic violence by ensuring immediate and coherent intervention. The norms, methodologies and procedures will be drawn up through secondary legislation, which will be regulated by a Joint Order of MMJS and MAI.

On the same Cabinet meeting, the Government regulated the exercise of the profession of equal opportunities expert and tehnician by amending Law 202/2002 on equal opportunities between women and men. The two professions were introduced in COR(Classification of Occupations in Romania) in 2014, 2015 respectively.

Furthermore, the normative act sets that legal persons in public and private sector with more than 50 employees can employ an expert or a tehnician in equal opportunities, in the limit of the budget destined for salary expenditure.

The two professions are regulated in the context of an increasing preoccupation at international and European levels for the implementation of the equal opportunities principles in all fields and at all levels of intervention.

Romania assumed in 2015 the implementation of Commitment nr. 1 on forming specialists, experts and tehnicians in the field of equal opportunities in central and local public administration, within the „HEforSHE”Campaign, initiated by UN WOMEN and it committed that, until 2020, 70 percent of the 1.680 local and national public institutions have experts or tehnicians in the field of equal opportunities.

The normative act also introduces the notion of „gender violence” in line with the definition established by the Istanbul Convention.

Additional information:

Domestic Violence Statistics, according to IGPR:

Year 2016:

36,664 victims of domestic violence;

- 191 deaths specified by the Public Ministry;

- 2574 Ops(protection orders) issued, out of which 743 are infringed.

 

Year 2017

- 20,617 victims of domestic violence;

 

- 84 deaths;

- over 3,000 protection orders issued by the court;

- Protection orders infringed- 1011.

 



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