A “domestic violence” unit in each Public Social Service Centre
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    A “domestic violence” unit in each Public Social Service Centre

    The Walloon Minister for Social Action and Equal Opportunities, Alda Greoli (of the French-speaking Christian Democrats), has sent a circular to all Public Social Services Centres (‘CPAS’ services). The circular requests that they designate, within their teams, a point of reference for “domestic violence” issues.

    The Sudpresse publications are reporting the issue on Tuesday. Alternatively, Ms Greoli would prefer separate specialized units to be established within given CPAS centres wherever possible. 

    Sudpresse reports that the number of calls taken by the Prevention Centre for Domestic Violence, the main telephone monitoring centre, has gone from 2,693 in 2016 to 9,083 in 2018.

    Minister Greoli has consequently decided to encourage CPAS services, often placed at the forefront of such issues, to train their staff to better detect situations involving violence. Such training also involves being able to direct victims towards appropriate services. A free one-day’s training is available to staff for this purpose.

    “Our estimates indicate that in Belgium, one in four women will be a victim of physical and/or sexual violence by their partner,” says the minister, elaborating “Men are equally affected, but to a lesser extent. Such violence is found within all layers of society, independently of age, ethnic origin, religion, sexual orientation, level of education and socio-economic status.”

    Lars Andersen 
    The Brussels Times