Istanbul Convention, are we ready? A window of opportunity for ending domestic violence in Romania : comparative study tackling the alignment of Romania with the standards of the Istanbul Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence

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Sabangeanu, Arabela Anca
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Romania signed in 2014 the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence, shortly, the Istanbul Convention. This exploratory study is looking into the challenges that Romania must tacked in order to align with the international standards imposed by the Istanbul Convention in its process for ratification. To do so, firstly, the author detects the evolution of the legal definition and the manifestations of violence against women and domestic violence at international and European level. Then, the situation of the Romanian women is addressed, overviewing the social and economic context in Romania, the gender inequality and the situation of Romanian women made victims of domestic violence. In the last part, the Romanian legislation is analysed in depth, and compared with the provision of the Istanbul Convention and the Spanish legislation, seen as an example of good practice. The main finding highlights the fact that the Romanian Law preventing and combating violence in the family must amend its provisions, firstly, by framing domestic violence within the Istanbul Convention approach. The condition for victim and perpetrator residing together should be eliminated and the rights of the victims should be extended and detailed elaborated. In addition, an official body dealing with gathering data analyse and disseminate on the causes and the consequences of domestic violence must be putted in place. The law should stipulate the coordination with the security forces, as a main stakeholder for enforcing the law. The civil and criminal sanctions must be addressed within the law, facilitating the understanding of the measures, since the judiciary system underwent serious reforms in the recent years. Moreover, the aggravating circumstances must be aligning with the provisions of the Istanbul Convention. A chapter of the law should elaborate on the preventing measures in an exhaustive manner. As a general remark, although a series of issues must be addressed in order to stand up to the international standards regarding domestic violence, still, Romania is facing a great opportunity that must be seized, namely the Istanbul Convention, to end domestic violence.
Second semester University: Maastricht University.
Romania, Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence