Croatia: New Regulations Could Put Safety of Domestic Violence Survivors at Risk
Thursday, July 7, 2016 11:10 AM

The government of Croatia may force the country’s oldest shelter for women fleeing domestic violence to release its location, possibly endangering the women who live there. Under new state requirements, the shelter, the Autonomous Women’s House Zagreb, must share its address and submit to regular inspection of its facilities. Otherwise, the shelter risks the loss of state funding and possible closure. The shelter has maintained its anonymity and the safety of its residents for nearly two decades, ever since a violent husband searching for his wife held workers hostage at gunpoint.

According to the Advocates’ 2016 report on the Implementation of Croatia’s Domestic Violence Legislation, autonomous or independent shelters in Croatia serve twice as many survivors of violence as compared to state shelters, primarily because of the safety offered by their confidential locations. This is despite the fact that autonomous shelters receive roughly half as much public funding as state shelters.

Compiled from: Taormina, Tricia, Croatia Threatens Secrecy of Country’s Oldest Women’s Shelter, Women’s eNews (June 27, 2016); Implementation of Croatia’s Domestic Violence Legislation: Follow-Up Report 2016, The Advocates for Human Rights and Autonomous Women’s House Zagreb (March 2016).