Praxis Watch

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Deficiencies in Implementation of the Special Protocol of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Serbia for Protection and Treatment of Women Exposed to Violence

Representing the women who were exposed to violence, Praxis noticed considerably unequal practice of health institutions related to documenting and issuing medical certificates on violence-inflicted injuries.

When women who were exposed to violence address health institutions for assistance on their own, not accompanied by an officer of the Ministry of Interior, they often have to pay a fee for issuance of the certificate on inflicted injuries amounting to 1,900.00 RSD. Furthermore, these certificates are not issued on a form that is unified for all health institutions and do not even contain basic data about suffered injuries – time, place and the manner of infliction of injuries. They often contain only a superficial description of inflicted injuries. The Ministry of Health brought a Special Protocol for Protection and Treatment of Women Exposed to Violence and prescribed the manner in which the health institutions should proceed in such cases and document violence.

Medical certificates on inflicted injuries are also issued by forensic medicine clinics, and contain a detailed description of injuries and case history. If the woman who suffered violence addresses a forensic medicine clinic on her own, the fee for issuance of the medical certificate amounts to 6,300.00 RSD.

Certificates with detailed description of suffered injuries represent a valuable piece of evidence in court procedures for protection of women against violence. If the Protocol were applied consistently, then certificates issued by regular health institutions could also be as significant a piece of evidence as the certificates from forensic medicine clinics that are much more expensive. For this reason, Praxis addressed the Ministry of Health with a request for an opinion about the implementation of the Special Protocol for Protection and Treatment of Women Exposed to Violence.

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Praxis means action
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