The Kosovo Women’s Network (KWN), in cooperation with other key stakeholders including the Agency for Gender Equality in the Office of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Kosovo, launched this month a new research initiative on domestic violence and sexual harassment in Kosovo, which will follow-on a baseline study carried out in 2008. The research also will inform the new National Strategy and Action Plan on Protection against Domestic Violence, planned to be drafted in 2015.
The aims of the new research include measuring (changes in) attitudes, awareness and incidence of domestic violence and sexual harassment in Kosovo, respectively; and monitoring implementation of the legal framework by relevant public institutions (e.g., police, judges, prosecutors, victim advocates, shelters, legal aid offices, healthcare workers, education institutions, etc.), particularly related to the National Strategy and Action Plan on Protection against Domestic Violence.
The research will involve mixed methods including a review of the Legal Framework to identify remaining gaps in the legal outface and its implementation; conducting a survey with 1,290 citizens to measure awareness, attitudes and incidence of domestic violence and sexual harassment; interviews with institutions and actors responsible for implementing the legal framework; and review of statistical data gathered from relevant institutions on official interventions in cases of domestic violence since 2008. The results of research on sexual harassment will be particularly enlightening considering that limited research exists on the general population’s attitudes and experiences with sexual harassment.
The research is planned to be publish in mif-2015 and will be used to inform advocacy initiatives carried out by KWN and its members between mid-2015 and the end of 2017 (in cooperation with other interested actors). The exact same research process will be repeated in 2017 to measure improvements in attitudes and behaviours.
In 2008, KWN conducted the first ever Kosovo-wide household survey on incidence of domestic violence in 2008 in collaboration with the Agency for Gender Equality in the Office of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Kosovo (AGE) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Women’s Safety and Security Initiative.
Entitled Security Begins at Home, the resulting publication examined levels of awareness regarding domestic violence, its forms, and where to seek assistance. The research also involved interviews with officials in institutions responsible for implementing the then existing legal framework pertaining to domestic violence. This important study informed the Law on Protection against Domestic Violence, Strategy and National Action Plan (NAP), and Standard Operating Procedures in Kosovo for persons who suffered domestic violence (SOPs) used by all institutions.
Much time has passed since the baseline study and now the time is ripe to carry out a follow-up study to measure how attitudes have changed over time as well as to identify remaining gaps in the legal outface and its implementation. This research will be funded by the Austrian Development Agency.