Cooperation among all segments of the society, including academia, public institutions and the society are necessary to effectively fight domestic violence, a workshop organized by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) concluded Wednesday.
The workshop, titled “Implementations and Suggestions on Countering Violence Against Women,” took place in the capital Ankara.
Representatives from the Justice Ministry, the Presidency of Religious Affairs, Interior Ministry, Education Ministry, Health Ministry, Family and Social Services Ministry, as well as the Turkish Statistical Institute and the Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK), took part in the workshop.
AK Party Düzce Deputy Ayşe Keşir noted that the period before and after violence should be approached separately, as she highlighted the importance of inter-institutional coordination in dealing with the subject.
Keşir said the AK Party has been focusing on domestic violence and has successfully eliminated honor killings after passing a law, making significant amendments to the Turkish Penal Code in 2005.
Besides the family and social services, justice and interior ministries’ coordination and cooperation, Keşir said the media is also an important tool to fight domestic violence. She noted that media outlets have tremendous responsibility regarding the language they use when preparing reports on domestic violence.
In July, the government unveiled a fourth national action plan targeting “violence towards women” that mostly focuses on domestic violence.
The action plan has been drafted by the Ministry of Family and Social Services in coordination with agencies working on the prevention of violence. It includes five main goals and dozens of activities that will be accomplished in five years. Turkey unveiled its first comprehensive action plan on the issue in 2007. For the new plan, the government consulted with nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), labor unions, international organizations, universities and media.
The plan, under the principle of “zero tolerance” toward violence, aims to respond to all types of violence – from physical violence to emotional abuse. Details are not clear yet, but it included facilitating access to legal services for victims, drafting comprehensive policies on the issue and better coordination between government agencies for a faster response to cases.