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Published: 17 december 2012 13:19

Lithuanian police chief: Law against domestic violence put off some offenders but made others more subtle

Smurtas šeimoje
Wordpress.com nuotr. / Smurtas šeimoje

The Law on Protection Against Domestic Violence came into force one year ago. It deterred some offenders, but others have adapted and violence has become more concealed, says Police Commissioner General Saulius Skvernelis.

"Perpetrators of violence now know that the police can simply come and take them away without any complaint. The figures that are registered show the preventive character, as well. However, forms of domestic violence have become more subtle, concealed, and latent. Offenders have adapted over the year that the law has been in effect," the police chief said at a Vilnius conference.

Over the past year, the police was called to handle domestic conflicts nearly 20,000 times. According to data provided by the Police Department, about 2,500 reports of domestic violence were received in January, as compared with about merely 1,000 in December.

Julius Sabatauskas, chairman of the parliamentary Committee on Legal Affairs, expressed regret over lack of additional funding for implementation of the law, voicing hope that the new administration would envisage additional money for 2013.

Under the law introduced in December 2011, the perpetrator of domestic violence can be ordered to move out or restricted from contacting the victim.

The law on protection against domestic violence stipulates that the police have to open investigations even in cases when the victim refuses to press charges.

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