During 2022 the team of the National Network prepared an “Endline study on the satisfaction of women victims of gender-based violence and domestic violence as users of services in Centers for Social Work”. The endline study was conducted 2 years after the implementation of the Baseline Study on the same topic, in order to see or compare the possible changes in the satisfaction with the services provided to women victims of GBV and DV.
Namely, according to the recommendations of the Baseline Study, 6 regional trainings were conducted for 18 Centers for Social Work, that is, 78 professional employees in them. In addition, some of the professionals were mentored, i.e. consultatively, in dealing with common cases of violence against women in the field. In addition, several by-laws related to the Law on Prevention and Protection from Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (2021) were adopted, the purpose of which is to improve the application of the law as well as action on the ground in order to better protect victims of violence.
Considering the above developments, the endline study was conducted with the same parameters as the baseline study, that is, it included 68 service users from 9 local centers for social work and 8 specialized services provided by CSOs/WCSOs.
The treatment of women victims in Centers for Social Work was evaluated by 8.8% as very unsatisfactory, 17.6% as unsatisfactory, 23.5% as slightly satisfactory, 41.2% as satisfactory and 8.8% as very satisfactory. Compared to the baseline study, there was an increase in satisfaction with CSW services from 31% to 41% as “satisfactory”, and a further 8.8% as “very satisfactory”.
In terms of services from CSOs and WCSOs, satisfaction ranges from 60% to 80% as “very satisfied“, which is also in line with the findings of the baseline study.
The conclusions of the endline study indicate that there is an improvement in the conduct of CSWs, especially in the area of risk assessment and creation of individual work plans. However, the focus is still on the risk of violence, and there is a lack of assessment of the social risks among the victims. CSWs adequately informed and referred to psychosocial counseling, as well as services for temporary residence, but in those cities where such services do not exist, CSWs were not able to refer the users. There was no information about long-term housing and financial support for the beneficiaries, due to the lack of appropriate local services for reintegration. There has also been an improvement in the attitudes of the CSW employees, who showed support for the victims, without condemning or justifying the violence.
The endline study provides further recommendations for improving the work of the Centers for Social Work and in general the system for the protection and reintegration of women victims of GBV and DV. First of all, it is extremely important to provide financial support to CSOs and WCSOs for the establishment and sustainability of specialized services in all parts of the country, to which victims will have easier access and to which local CSWs will be able to refer them. The state must also adopt a program for the reintegration of women victims of GBV and DV, which will enable the establishment of local services for the reintegration and rehabilitation of victims. Continuous training of the service providers in both the CSW and the WCSOs is inevitable, in order to deal with cases appropriately in the field. Finally, the MLSP must revise the Decision on the cost of services provided by CSOs as well as the process of licensing CSOs as service providers, with the aim of greater sustainability of specialized services for women and children victims of GBV and DV.
The whole endline study is available at this link.
This activity was carried out within the project “Institutionalizing quality services for the rehabilitation and integration of victims of violence” supported by the Austrian Development Agency (ADA), and is part of a regional project that is implemented in 6 countries from the Western Balkans (Serbia, Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania and North Macedonia).