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Proposed changes to Domestic Violence Act

The Ministry of Labour, the Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities has sent into public debate changes to the act on prevention of domestic violence, which among other things expand the definition of domestic violence and gives additional powers to the police and courts.

The changes also expand the number of persons who are regarded as family members and exempts victims of domestic violence from paying court fees.The definition of domestic violence is expanded so that mere threat with physical or sexual violence is regarded as violence.


The definition of physical violence would include forcing someone to work or limiting their movement or communication, while publishing sexual content about a victim would be regarded as sexual violence. Spreading any information about a victim would meanwhile be regarded as psychological violence.


Stalking is also being introduced as a new form of domestic violence. It is defined as deliberate and recurring unwanted contact, watching or other form of unwanted invasion of privacy of a victim.


Under the proposed changes, the police will be able to escort victims of domestic violence when necessary and also to enter their residence.


Courts would be allowed to take measures on a proposal from social work centres, and not only from a victim. The set of possible measures taken by courts to protect children are also expanded.


According to Andrej Del Fabro of the Family Directorate, the changes are necessary, as certain shortcomings have been established in the eight years of the implementation of the existing act.