On 25-26 February the CEP and EuroPris expert group on Domestic Violence came together in Hasselt, Belgium, for its third meeting.

On Monday afternoon a study visit to the Family Justice Centre took place, where its multi-agency work done was presented. The next day the meeting continued at the town hall of Hasselt. Here the collection of best practices and Domestic Violence treatment programs were discussed, after which four sessions of “sharing and learning” were held. One on maintaining victim safety, one on the difficulty of sharing (confidential) information, one on not-(yet)-convicted perpetrators and one on sustainable funding for treatment programs.The group also discussed its Terms of Reference and plans for the future.

A lot of European countries try to improve the work with domestic violence and share good practices, but there is still a lot to be done. It is important to identify those who are sentenced for other crimes, but possibly also have a background of problems with domestic violence. Attention needs to be paid to the differences in cultural and religious backgrounds and to increase the knowledge about this matter in order to tackle domestic violence in different contexts. Domestic violence is an issue that goes through both prison and probation. It is therefore a natural choice that CEP and EuroPris work together in a joint expert group.

The report of the meeting can be downloaded here.

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