Romania: Information on prosecutions and/or convictions for crimes of domestic violence against women (May 2003-January 2005)
|Publisher||Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada|
|Author||Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada|
|Publication Date||26 January 2005|
|Citation / Document Symbol||ROM43306.E|
|Cite as||Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Romania: Information on prosecutions and/or convictions for crimes of domestic violence against women (May 2003-January 2005), 26 January 2005, ROM43306.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/42df616d19.html [accessed 9 March 2014]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
For more information on protection available to female victims of domestic violence, please consult ROM43306.E from 17 May 2004.
Information on prosecutions or convictions for crimes of domestic violence against women since May 2003 was scarce among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate. However, the following information is relevant.
Country Reports 2003 state that "[t]he prosecution of rape cases was difficult because it required both a medical certificate and a witness, and a rapist could avoid punishment if he married the victim (25 Feb. 2004). Because there are no legal provisions recognizing spousal rape, such cases are "severely unreported" (ibid.). "The successful prosecution of spousal rape cases was almost impossible" (Country Reports 2003 25 Feb. 2004).
According to the South Eastern European Legal Initiative (SEELINE), domestic violence claims made to the police have often "been treated as administrative offence[s] and not transferred to the court[s]," even though there were medical certificates (July 2003). In a 2004 statistical document, the Association for the Promotion of Women in Romania (ApoWeR) mentions that police statistics cannot properly evaluate the prevalence of crimes of domestic violence against women (see also SEELINE July 2003).
In one case of violence against two women in Lalomita county, the police tried to protect three senior policemen who had raped and beat two women (AI 1 Sept. 2004). The policemen were eventually suspended by the Ministry of the Interior, but it is not known if they were prosecuted (ibid.). SEELINE mentions two convictions : a man was sentenced to five years for spousal abuse, while another one received a 25-year sentence for murdering his daughter (July 2003). However, this report does not mention if the convictions occurred after May 2003.
ApoWeR states that more women used their legislative counselling services in 2003, as compared to 2002, and less psychological counselling. In 2003, 275 women sought help in legal cases, while 261 had received such help in 2002 (2004).
This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.
Amnesty International (AI). 1 September 2004. "Europe and Central Asia. Summary of Amnesty International's Concerns in the Region. January – June 2004." AI Index: EUR 01/005/2004.
Association for the Promotion of Women in Romania (ApoWeR) [Timisoara]. 2004. "Statistical Report on Domestic Violence in Romania." (Correspondence from a representative).
Country Reports 2003. 25 February 2004. United States Department of State. Washington, DC.
South Eastern European Legal Initiative (SEELINE). July 2003. Maria Muga. "Criminal Code Report: Romania."
Additional Sources Consulted
Oral sources: One oral source consulted did not provide information within the time constraints of this Response (Roma Women's Association in Romania). Attempts to contact the Romanian Agency for the Protection of the Family and the Women's Association of Romania were unsuccessful.
Internet sources, including: AIMPress, Amnesty International, Association for the Promotion of Women in Romania, Association for the Protection of Human Rights in Romania – Helsinki Committee (APADOR-CH), Dialog, Evenimentul Zilei, Human Rights Watch, OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, Roma Women's Association in Romania, Romanian Agency for the Protection of the Family, UNDP in Romania, UNIFEM, WNC.