A round table discussion
11/16/2023 - 13:16

On November 14-15, 2023 at the Vytautas Mineral SPA Hotel in Birštonas, a round table discussion took place as part of the project No. LT06-3-VRM-TF-001 "Improvement of the Quality of the Justice Chain's Work and Strengthening of Competencies to Protect Victims of Domestic and Gender-Based Violence," funded by the European Economic Area and the Norwegian Financial Mechanism 2014–2021 program. The event was organized by the Police Department under the Ministry of Justice in collaboration with representatives from Specialized Complex Assistance Centers (SCAC). During the discussion, police officials engaged in dialogue, shared observations, and discussed proposals related to the topic of violence in close environments. Twenty-eight women representing 12 SCAC centers and seven police representatives attended the event.

A significant focus during the meeting was directed towards inter-institutional collaboration between the police and SCAC. Practical situations were shared, mistakes were discussed, and suggestions for improving collaboration were put forward. Police representatives shared their work practices and practically demonstrated the issuance of Restraining Orders. Observations were made during the discussion about the importance of including topics on changing attitudes and stereotypes based on gender in further training. Cases were noted where biased views still exist, assuming that women (victims) are partly to blame for Restraining Orders. It was also suggested to organize training sessions not only for officers but also for their superiors, for whom changing attitudes and approaches to Restraining Orders are equally crucial. Organizational issues faced in organizing training on Restraining Orders for responding officers were also discussed.

Participants in the discussion expressed great satisfaction with this format of meeting. They emphasized that such interactive events, where free discussion, sharing, expressing ideas, and proposing solutions are encouraged, greatly contribute to strengthening collaboration, finding common ground, and moving forward as a team. The exchange of ideas sometimes flowed so smoothly that participants lost track of time, and the moderator had to remind them to take breaks.