Belgian government takes action on violence within the family
Share article:
Share article:

Belgian government takes action on violence within the family

© Pixabay

Yesterday’s meeting of government ministers decided to initiate a plan of action to tackle the problem of violence within the family.

The proposal came from Sarah Schliz, secretary of state for gender equality, equal opportunities and diversity, and is based on research which showed that during the first lockdown in the spring, there was an increase in cases of domestic violence, as family members forced into close proximity with no place to go to let off steam resorted to violence against those within their close circle.

Compared to the period before the lockdown, calls to the helpline for victims of domestic violence increased threefold. There was also an increase in the number of complaints to the police and other authorities.

The regular weekly meeting of government ministers which took place on Friday approved an action plan presented by Schliz. It includes: a study on the incidence of intra-family violence in the period of the lockdowns; the extension of the operation of a chatline for reports of domestic violence until at least 30 June 2021; a national information campaign on family and gender-related violence; and the possibility for hotel and guest-house owners to make accommodation available for victims of domestic violence to take emergency refuge.

We will not let you down, we are by your side,” said Schlitz after the meeting, addressing victims. “This violence is unacceptable.”

The measure also includes an effort to remind police and justice systems that domestic violence is and remains a priority for the government, instructing them to ensure follow-up care of victims to check on the situation once a complaint has been made. That would include measures to ensure enforcement of any order for the perpetrators of domestic violence to leave the family home.

It also addresses the medical profession.

“We wish to remind [doctors] that there has been an increase in domestic violence during this period of confinement, to draw their attention to this risk as well as to the various reporting codes that exist, and that they can activate them when they notice violence against their patients,” Schlitz said.

Alan Hope
The Brussels Times

Latest news

Flanders introduces ‘invisible’ speed cameras
New digital speed cameras that are essentially invisible to the road user are being introduced on various roads and motorways in Flanders, Flemish ...
Warnings issued for slippery roads across Belgium
Drivers have been asked to watch out for slippery roads from Saturday afternoon until Sunday evening, as snow and cold temperatures are expected ...
Testing rules following high-risk contact eased for vaccinated people
The coronavirus testing policy following a high-risk contact has been eased, meaning a vaccinated person who was in contact with an infected person ...
New measures announced for Belgian schools
Stricter rules are being implemented across a variety of sectors in Belgium to curb the rising number of infections and limit the damage as a result ...
Majority of booster doses should be administered by March 2022
Invitations will be sent out in the following days for the general population in Belgium to receive a coronavirus booster vaccine, and most adults ...
Belgium adopts national plan to combat gender-based violence
Belgium has adopted a National Action plan for the Fight against Gender-Based Violence, which includes more than 200 measures and unites all levels ...
Antwerp cancels Christmas market and New Year’s Eve fireworks
The city of Antwerp has joined other cities including Leuven and Ghent by announcing it is cancelling this year's Christmas market, the end-of-year ...
Pharmaceutical companies looking into vaccines against new variant
Pharmaceutical companies have sprung into action to look into vaccine protection against the new coronavirus variant first detected in South Africa, ...
Belgium imposes entry ban on travellers from southern Africa
Belgium is introducing an entry ban for travellers from several countries in the south of Africa following concerns about a new variant (B.1.1.529) ...
What Ursula did next
BRUSSELS BEHIND THE SCENES • Weekly analysis and untold stories
Nightclub closures, limiting contacts: These rules come into force today
Just over one week after its last meeting, Belgium's Consultative Committee on Friday once again announced a set of new measures to curb the rising ...
Almost 3,500 Covid-19 patients in hospitals as new cases continue to skyrocket
The number of new coronavirus cases in Belgium is continuing to rise, and with it the number of Covid-19 patients who are hospitalised as a result of ...