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Monday, 5 November 2012

Law on Preventing and Combating Family Violence


Law on Preventing and Combating Family Violence nr 45-XVI of 1 March 2007
Published 18 March 2008 in the Official Monitor Number 55-56/178


CHAPTER I

GENERAL PROVISIONS
Article 1. Subject matter of the law
This law establishes the legal and organizational framework for preventing and combating family violence, the authorities and institutions responsible for preventing and combating family violence, and the mechanism for identifying and solving cases of violence.
Article 2. Principal terms
For the purpose of this law, the following terms shall mean:
Family violence – any deliberate action or inaction, except actions taken in self-defense or in defense of other persons, whether physical or verbal, that is manifested through physical, sexual, psychological, spiritual or economic abuse or by causing material or moral damage, committed by a family member against other family members, including against minors, or against common or personal property;
Physical violence – deliberate infliction of bodily injuries or damage to health by hitting, pushing, tossing, pulling by the hair, stinging, cutting, burning, strangling, biting, in any form and of any intensity; by poisoning, intoxicating, or other similar actions;
Sexual violence – any violence of a sexual character or any illegal sexual conduct within the family or within other interpersonal relationships, such as marital rape; prohibiting the use of contraception; sexual harassment; any unwanted, imposed sexual conduct; forced prostitution; any illegal sexual conduct with a minor family member, including fondling, kissing, setting the child into poses or other unwanted touching with sexual connotations; or other similar actions;
Psychological violence – imposing one’s volition or personal control by causing tension and mental suffering including ridiculing, swearing, insulting, derogatory nicknaming; blackmailing; the intentional destruction of objects; verbal threats; the demonstrative showing of fire arms or hitting domestic animals; neglect; meddling in the personal lives of others; acts of jealousy; imposing isolation by detention, including detention in the family dwelling; isolation from the family, community, friends; prohibiting professional accomplishment, prohibiting attendance at educational institutions; seizure of identity documents; deprivation of access to information; or other similar actions;
Spiritual violence – the underestimation of, or demeaning the importance of, the need to satisfy moral and spiritual needs by prohibiting, limiting, ridiculing or punishing the aspirations of family members, by prohibiting, ridiculing or punishing access to cultural, ethnic, linguistic or religious values; by imposing a system of unacceptable personal values; or by other actions with similar effects or repercussions;
Economic violence – the deprivation of economic means, including the deprivation essentials such as food, medicine and living necessities; the abuse of a position of authority such as taking away personal property, prohibiting the possession, use or disposal of common property, unfair control over common property and resources; refusal to support the family; imposing hard or harmful labor or damaging health, including such actions affecting minor members of the family; or other similar actions;
Moral damage – causing suffering to a family member, including a minor child, within the family or in other interpersonal relationships, which leads to humiliation, fear, abasement, inability to defend oneself against physical violence, or feelings of frustration;
Material damage – damage that can be evaluated or estimated in financial/monetary terms, resulting from any act of violence in the family, or in a cohabitation relationship, and to include the costs for examination of the case of family violence;
Aggressor – person who commits acts of violence in the family or in a cohabitation relationship;
Victim – a person, adult or minor, subject to acts of violence within the family or within a cohabitation relationship;
Protective order – a legal act, by which the court applies victim protection measures.
Article 3. Applicability of this law
(1) This law applies to: the aggressor and the victim citizens of the Republic of Moldova and to foreign citizens and stateless persons who live in the Republic of Moldova.
(2) This law applies:
a. In cases of cohabitation – persons in relationship of marriage, divorce, intimate cohabitation, guardianship and tutorship, their direct or collateral relatives, relatives’ spouses, or other persons who are maintained by the such persons;
b. In cases of separate habitation – persons in a relationship of marriage; their children, including adopted children; those born outside the marriage; those under guardianship or tutorship; or other persons who are maintained by such persons.
Article 4. Legal framework
(1) The legislation on preventing and combating family violence consists of the Constitution of the Republic of Moldova, this law, other normative acts, and international treaties to which the Republic of Moldova is a party.
(2) If the international treaty to which the Republic of Moldova is a party contains provisions different from those of this law, the provisions of the international treaty shall apply.
Article 5. Basic principles of preventing and combating family violence
(1) Preventing and combating family violence is based on the following principles:
a. Legality;
b. Equality;
c. Confidentiality;
d. Access to justice;
e. Protection and security of the victim; and
f. Cooperation of public administration authorities with civil society and international
organizations.
Article 6. Scope of law
The provisions of this law are applicable in the same manner to the citizens of the Republic of Moldova, foreign citizens and stateless persons, who live on the territory of the Republic of Moldova.

CHAPTER II

AUTHORITIES AND INSTITUTIONS RESPONSIBLE FOR PREVENTING AND
COMBATING FAMILY VIOLENCE
Article 7. Authorities and institutions responsible for preventing and combating family
violence
(1) The authorities and institutions responsible for the administration of this law are:
a. Central specialized public administration authorities such as (the Ministry of Social Protection, Family and Child, the Ministry of Education and Youth, the Ministry of Healthcare, the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Local Public Administration, the Ministry of Justice);
b. Specialized local public administration authorities, such as:
- The social assistance and family protection sections/departments;
- The general education, youth and sports departments;
- Healthcare organizations;
- Internal affairs’ organizations;
c. Local public administration and social issue commissions;
d. Centers/services for victim and aggressor rehabilitation;
e. Other organizations with specialized activities in the field.
(2) The Ministry of Social Protection, Family and Child is the central public authority
responsible for the development and promotion of policies in the field of preventing and
combating family violence and providing social assistance.
Article 8. The role of central and local public administration authorities
(1) Within the limits of their authority, central specialized public administration authorities such as (the Ministry of Social Protection, Family and Child, the Ministry of Education and Youth, the Ministry of Healthcare, the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Local Public Administration and the Ministry of Justice) are to:
a. Ensure the development and promotion of policies in the field of family support, in preventing family violence, and in offering protection and assistance to victims and aggressors;
b. Coordinate the field activity of decentralized/deconcentrated structures;1
c. Coordinate, assess and monitor the activity of centers/services for victim and aggressor rehabilitation;
d. Establish procedures for identifying, recording and reporting cases of family violence according to gender statistic criteria;
e. Strengthen the capacities of human resources in the field of preventing and combating family violence;
f. Collaborate with non-governmental organizations and natural and legal persons involved in activity of preventing and combating violence.
(2) Local public administration authorities are to:
a. Appoint commissions for social issues and organize their activities at the local level;
b. Create multi-disciplinary teams in the field;
c. Organize centers/services for victim and aggressor rehabilitation according to international standards;
d. Organize awareness campaigns, studies and other actions in the field of family
violence prevention;
e. Develop social partnerships with non-governmental organizations including foundations, trade unions, employers’ unions and with international organizations that work in the field of preventing and combating family violence;
f. Ascertain, through a decision of the commission for social issues, whether the application of protective measures presents danger to the victim’s life or health.
(3) Social assistance and family protection sections/departments are to:
a. Collaborate with the administrative bodies of the interior to identify persons inclined to commit acts of family violence;
b. Update the database concerning acts of family violence at the territorial level;
c. If appropriate, place the victim into a rehabilitation center and offer the appropriate assistance;
d. Conduct psychological and psycho-social counseling in order for victims to overcome the consequences of acts of family violence, by their own means or by referring the case to the specialists of rehabilitation centers;
e. Facilitate the aggressor’s access to rehabilitation programs, at the request of the law enforcement bodies;
f. Protect the lawful rights and interests of victims, including minor victims;
g. Carry out informational programs to prevent family violence, jointly with other empowered authorities and in collaboration with non-governmental organizations in the field;
h. Determine the need to create centers/services for victim and aggressor rehabilitation, ensure that such centers/services have methodology and information support;
i. Monitor and coordinate professional activities, to be carried out by social assistants within mayoralties; for preventing family violence, for supporting/counseling victims and for re-socializing aggressors;
j. Present mid-year reports to the Ministry of Social Protection, Family and Child regarding the activities of the sections/departments and social assistants according to established partnerships;
k. Monitor victims and offer assistance after victims leave the rehabilitation centers.
(4) General education, youth and sports departments are to:
a. Ensure that teachers are informed and trained: regarding the classification of acts of family violence; how to apply the methods and means to prevent such acts; and to notify the appropriate authorities;
b. Jointly with other authorities with competence in the field and in collaboration with field non-governmental organizations, conduct educational programs for parents and children on preventing and combating family violence;
c. Ensure counseling activities for the psychological and psycho-social rehabilitation for minor victims of family violence;
d. Through teachers, report cases of family violence to the appropriate authorities, including cases of family violence against children; in such instances the guardianship authority and the police are to be appropriately and immediately notified.
(5) Medical institutions of all types and levels are to:
a. Organize awareness campaigns;
b. Report cases of family violence, through medical employees, to the guardianship authority and to the police;
c. Ensure medical counseling and assistance for victims;
d. Initiate and accomplish programs and services for aggressors; ensure completion of programs for treatment of alcoholism, detoxification, psycho-therapeutic treatment, as applicable, at the expense of the abuser or, as applicable, from the funds of mandatory medical insurance;
e. Initiate permanent partnerships with all programs dealing with mother and child health;
f. Contract for medical services to be provided by centers/services for victim and aggressor rehabilitation.
(6) The administrative bodies of the interior, at the specialized unit level are to:
a. Identify, record and report cases of family violence;
b. Ensure basic records of aggressors;
c. Notify the guardianship and tutorship authorities in cases of minor victims of family violence;
d. Examine requests and notifications submitted by citizens, medical institutions, forensic medicine centers that deal with conflicts within families, acts of violence, death threats or the immediate danger of the same;
e. Visit families whose members are on record, perform activities for preventing
repeated acts of family violence;
f. In emergencies, and contingent on the gravity of the case, ensure the administrative arrest of the aggressor;
g. Obtain a protective order from the court in emergencies, based on the victim’s request or on the notification of the case; ensure the enforcement of the protective order;
h. In family violence cases, explain the victim’s rights to the victim and, at the victim’s request, assist them with placement in a rehabilitation center;
i. Inform the victim of their right to free legal assistance;
j. Ensure access to rehabilitation services for the aggressors, including those under
administrative arrest;
k. Ensure the security, safety and public order in victim rehabilitation centers;
l. Monitor and administrate, jointly with social assistants, cases of family violence in the serviced territory and update the field database;
m. Collaborate with the appropriate authorities in the field and with civil society to
prevent and combat family violence.
Article 9. The role of the Penitentiary Institutions Department
The Penitentiary Institutions Department is responsible for:
a. Organizing services and programs for the rehabilitation and the re-socialization of imprisoned aggressors;
b. Collaboration with other appropriate authorities in the field.
Article 10. The role of the centers/services for victim and aggressor rehabilitation
(1) The center for rehabilitation of victims of family violence, hereinafter referred to as the Center, is a specialized institution that offers accommodation, food, legal, social, psychological and medical emergency assistance, safety and protection, and assistance in contacting relatives.
(2) Centers may be created:
a. By the Government, at the proposal of the Ministry of Social Protection, Family and Child;
b. By the local public administration authorities, at the proposal of the commission for social issues;
c. By international organizations and non-governmental organizations, with the notification of the Ministry of Social Protection, Family and Child;
d. By public administration authorities and non-governmental or private organizations, based on an agreement of joint activity.
(3) A Center is to:
a. Ensure protection and accommodation for the victim, until the resolution of the family situation, but for no more than 3 months;
b. Offer psychological, pedagogical, social and legal assistance and medical care for the family members who are or might become victims;
c. In emergency cases, when the isolation of the aggressor is necessary as a protective measure, undertake, at the victim’s request, the placement of the victim and, with the consent of the legal representative or of the guardianship authority, the placement of the child;
d. Prohibit aggressor access into the premises;
e. Notify law enforcement bodies of the acts of family violence;
f. Study and summarize the causes and circumstances of the acts of family violence.
(4) The founder shall approve regulations for the organization and operation of a Center, based on a framework regulation approved by Government decision.
(5) The costs of a Center’s activity are to be covered from the founder’s general budget.
(6) The organization and operation of the Center may be also materially and financially supported by economic agents and entrepreneurs as set out by the Law on Philanthropy and Sponsorship.
(7) To ensure the security of the premises where victims are accommodated, a Center shall benefit from free police assistance.
(8) The aggressor rehabilitation service is to:
a. Offer specialized programs for treating alcoholism, detoxification and psychotherapeutic treatment;
b. Offer psychological and social assistance and vocational/career rehabilitation services to the aggressor;
c. Collaborate with specialized territorial authorities to promote a healthy lifestyle, to prevent and treat alcohol and drug addiction and sexually transmitted diseases;
d. Collaborate with institutions, enterprises and with non-governmental organizations to organize train and retrain aggressors for employment opportunities.
e. Inform appropriate authorities about the termination of protective measures and the aggressor’s reintegration back into the family;
f. Study and summarize the causes and circumstances of the acts of family violence.
(9) The Government shall establish and monitor the operation standards for the Centers/services for victims’ and aggressors’ rehabilitation.

CHAPTER III

MECHANISM FOR THE RESOLUTION OF ACTS OF FAMILY VIOLENCE
Article 11. The victim’s right to protection
(1) The victim is guaranteed the protection of his/her legitimate rights and interests.
(2) Responsible persons and other persons who are aware of a threat or danger to the life or health of a potential victim must notify the authorities responsible for preventing and combating family violence.
(3) Authorities responsible for preventing and combating family violence must react promptly to any such notification.
(4) Cases of family violence may be subject to mediation, at the request of the parties. Mediation shall be performed by certified mediators or, absent such mediators, by the commission for social issues, with the participation of the social assistant, as appropriate.
Article 12. Persons who may submit claims of family violence
Persons entitled to submit claims of family violence are:
a. the victim;
b. in emergencies, family members;
c. responsible persons and professionals who come into contact with the family;
d. the guardianship authority;
e. other persons who are aware of an imminent threat of or potential for acts of violence or of the occurrence of such acts.
Article 13. Submittal of claims
(1) A claim regarding acts of family violence shall be submitted:
a. To the administrative bodies of the interior;
b. To the court;
c. To the department of social assistance and family and child protection;
d. To the local public administration authority.
(2) The claim shall be submitted at the place:
a. of victim’s domicile;
b. of the victim’s temporary residence, if the victim has left his/her domicile to avoid the continuation of direct violence;
c. of aggressor’s residence;
d. where the victim has sought assistance;
e. where the act of violence took place.
(3) No state fee will be charged for the submission of claims to the court regarding acts of
family violence.
Article 14. Examination of the claim
(1) The claim submitted to the administrative bodies of the interior shall be examined according to the applicable legislation.
(2) The claim submitted to the court shall be examined according to the Civil Procedure and
Criminal Procedure Codes.
(3) The claim submitted to any authority responsible for preventing and combating family
violence shall be referred within one workday to the appropriate authority.
Article 15. Protective measures
(1) The court shall, within 24 hours of receipt of the claim, issue a protective order, to assist the victim, by applying the following measures against the aggressor:
a. Oblige the aggressor temporarily to leave the joint dwelling or to keep away from the victim’s dwelling, without making any determination as to ownership of property or assets;
b. Oblige the aggressor to keep away from the victim’s person;
c. Oblige the aggressor to refrain from contacting the victim, the victim’s children or other dependants of the victim;
d. Prohibit the aggressor from visiting the victim’s place of work or residence.
e. Oblige the aggressor, until the case is resolved, to contribute to the maintenance of his/her and the victim’s children;
f. Oblige the aggressor to cover the costs and damages caused by the aggressor’s acts
of violence, including medical expenses and the cost of replacing or repairing
destroyed or damaged assets;
g. Restrict the unilateral disposal of common assets;
h. Oblige the aggressor to partake in a special treatment or counseling program, if the
court determines this is necessary to reduce or eliminate violence;
i. Establish a temporary visitation schedule for the aggressor’s underage children;
j. Prohibit the aggressor from keeping or handling fire arms.
(2) The sector inspector, in collaboration with the social assistant, is responsible for notifying
the aggressor of the protective order and its application.
(3) The protective measures specified in paragraph 1 will be applied for up to three months, may be cancelled upon the elimination of the threat or danger that caused the application of such measures, and may be extended in case of a repeated claim or if the conditions set in the protective order have not been observed.
(4) The application of protective measures does not prevent the commencement of divorce procedures, division of property, annulment of parental rights, seizure of a child without annulment of parental rights or other actions provided by applicable legislation.
(5) The supervision of the execution of the protective measures established by the court is the task of the administrative bodies of interior, the administrative bodies of social assistance and other administrative bodies, as appropriate.
(6) If warranted, the court may lift the protective measures at the victim’s request. If the victims are children or infirm persons, the court is obligated to examine the case.
(7) An appeal of the protective order may be made according to applicable legislation.
Article 16. Funding
(1) The implementation of this law shall be funded from the state budget, the budgets of territorial-administrative units, within the limits of annually established funds, and from other sources that are not prohibited by law.
(2) Centers/services for the rehabilitation of victims and aggressors are to be funded from allotments provided from the budgets of territorial-administrative units, from donations, grants, and from other sources, according to applicable legislation.
Article 17. Sanctions
(1) Non-observance by the aggressor of the provisions of Article 15 paragraph 1 shall be sanctioned as provided in the applicable legislation.
(2) When acts of family violence contain elements of an administrative offence or of a criminal offence, applicable legislation shall apply, notwithstanding any applicable protective measures.
(3) Non-observance of this law by responsible persons or by professionals in the field is a breach of work discipline and requires disciplinary liability as established by law.

CHAPTER IV

FINAL PROVISIONS
Article 18
(1) This law shall take effect six months from the publication date.
(2) Within 3 months, the Government:
a. Shall submit to the Parliament proposals for bringing existing legislation in conformity with this law; and
b. Shall bring its normative acts in conformity with this law.

SPEAKER OF THE PARLIAMENT Marian LUPU,  March 1, 2007

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