September 2020
EuroPris Special Edition Newsletter
on Domestic Violence
Domestic violence is an ongoing problem all around Europe. It is a severe issue that refers to all jurisdictions and that goes through both prison and probation. With the establishment of the joint CEP and EuroPris expert group and with this newsletter we would like to highlight the need for raising awareness, spreading knowledge, best practice and developing management on the issue.
In one of the interviews that EuroPris conducted during the Corona pandemic, Athena Demetriou, a prison manager in Cyprus, expressed concern about the levels of domestic violence that were rising in the country. She said: “What happens outside, happens to the prison staff and in the prison as well.” This quote captures the essence of why prison services need to be aware of domestic violence, the prevalence, its causes and consequences and the experiences of working with victims as well as perpetrators. Prisons are an important link in the process of restoration, treatment and prevention. In this special issue newsletter, members of the joint EuroPris & CEP expert group on domestic violence present articles on the topic, that contain many relevant lessons for all EuroPris members.
Featured Article 1:
What is domestic violence and abuse?
Sarah Henfrey
Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service, England & Wales
There are many different forms of domestic violence abuse and although women are thought to be the most likely to be victimized, it can happen to anyone irrespective of gender, age, sexuality, ethnicity, religion or background. Sarah Henfrey in her article provides an overview of the different forms, and introduces the obligations that states in have under the Council of Europe Istanbul Convention (2011

Featured Article 2:
Victim Impact Training for perpetrators of domestic violence in Czech prisons
Václav Jiřička 
Prison Service of the Czech Republic, Czech Republic
In his article, Václav Jiřička explains the background and development of a Victim Impact Training program in Czech prisons. The main emphasis of the training program is on accepting responsibility for the actions of criminals by confronting them with the consequences of crime in relation to victims. It aims to reduce the risk of re-offending.

Featured Article 3:
Family Justice Center Limburg: “Together we really make a difference”
Sabrina Reggers and Dries Wyckmans
Coordinators Family Justice Center Limburg, Flemish government, Belgium
Sabrina Reggers and Dries Wyckmans explain how various needs and expectations were taken into account by professional partners in Limburg (Flanders, Belgium), together with a group of former victims and offenders, to draw up a joint vision for the coming years. The Family Justice Center (FJC) - a cooperation model that comes from the US and is also gaining ground within Europe – is central to this, with assistance and probation services, police and justice under one roof. An FJC provides a framework for intensive and effective multi-agency collaboration, to support families and to stop the violence.

Featured Article 4:
Practice in the treatment of domestic violence Slovenian Probation Administration
Simona Svetin Jakopič
Prison Administration of the Republic of Slovenia, Slovenia
The Slovenian Probation Administration was established in 2018. Simona Svetin Jakopič in her article narrates how the probation service deals with perpetrators of criminal offences, while assistance to victims of domestic violence and their treatment are provided by social work centres and non-governmental organisations. She also notes how this new institution is preparing to advance in the future.

Featured Article 5:
Domestic violence: Staff training for the probation and prison services
Juraj Zajac
General Directorate of the Corps of Prison and Court Guard, Slovakia
Probation and prisons professionals are responsible for work with perpetrators of domestic violence. In his article, Juraj Zajac argues that this duty cannot be limited to risk management and to restraining violent behaviour of perpetrators against women, or children, but instead, we are equally responsible for extending our efforts to stop violent behaviour altogether. Perpetrators programmes aim to stop abuse and protect future victims. If we only protect the current victim, the perpetrator will later find a new partner and the vicious cycle of violence will continue with another new victim to suffer.

Featured Article 6:
The impact of intimate partner violence on the child
Tuija Muurinen
Criminal Sanctions Agency (RISE), Finland
Jonna Brandt 
Specialist & team leader at Support Center Varjo, Finland
Domestic violence has serious and, at worst, even lasting effects on a child’s growth and development. The younger the child, the more serious the damage caused by witnessing violence against another member of the family. The effects are as damaging as if the violence was perpetrated on the child him/herself. In their article, Tuija Muurinen and Jonna Brandt further elaborate on these impacts and also focus specifically on stalking.

European Organisation of Prison and Correctional Services (EUROPRIS)
P.O. Box 13635
2501 EP The Hague