The Federal Act for the Protection against Domestic Violence that came into force on 1st of May, 1997 (and has been amended several times since then) is based on three pillars:
- The authorization of the police to issue an emergency barring order and – if necessary – a go-order (§ 38a Security Police Act). They are obliged to use these protection instruments if a person is endangered by another one.
- The legal opportunity for the endangered person to apply for in interim injunction within two weeks after the issuing of the emergency barring order. The protection provided by the civil court is more comprehensive and longer-lasting than the one guaranteed by the police order.
- The activities of the intervention centres/violence protection centres. They have to be immediately informed about the barring order by the police and to contact the endangered person as soon as possible. It is an important aspect of their work that they address their clients pro-actively relieving the (possibly traumatized) victims from the burden of looking for help. Main aspects of support offered to all victims are a risk assessment as well as the development of a crisis plan and a safety concept.
The research project will concentrate on two key issues. Firstly, police measures focusing primarily on the protection of women and under-age minors will be evaluated.
In addition to examining these victim protection interventions, the study follows a second thread: the victim-perpetrator relationship in cases where emergency barring orders are issued against endangering women. This is a largely un-studied area in which nearly nothing more is known but the number of women concerned. In discussions about male partner violence against women vs. female partner violence against men it is often argued that women are violent as well. But matter-of-factly, even basic knowledge is lacking, for instance whether women endanger mainly (ex) partners as men do. International studies have shown that partners, but also children and parents are abused by women but there is neither information on scales nor on potential gender-specific forms of victimization.
The goal of the study is to sustainably increase the safety of individuals affected by violence, as well as to support the executive authorities in fulfilling this task.
Dr.in Birgitt Haller, Institut für Konfliktforschung IKF
Bundesministerium für Inneres, Abt. II/2
Dr.in Birgitt Haller
Institut für Konfliktforschung IKF
1030 Wien, Lisztstraße 3