Upgrading domestic violence prevention
The province of South Finland is developing a municipal-based action programme designed to stop domestic violence. The move links with a concerted effort by the MSAH at national level to upgrade services and expertise to thwart the problem of violence in the home.
The issue was discussed at a conference held in early March by the MSAH to look at domestic violence prevention.
The aim of the municipal programme is to draw up local action models in a number of localities in the province.
The national plan of action of the MSAH for preventing domestic violence is currently being revamped. The first phase of the national action plan lasted from 1998-2002. It developed pilot projects in municipalities and produced educational materials for the public and for use in schools and workplaces.
The new action plan aims to improve society’s means to intervene to stop domestic violence. It seeks to assist both victims and perpetrators of domestic violence by improving special services designed to deal with domestic violence cases.
The current service system does not give sufficient help to victims or perpetrators, as it is often occasional and not uniformly available in different parts of the country. The aim of the action plan isto improve services and the development of professional expertise in dealing with the problem. Improvements are also needed to help children and young people who either witness violence at home and/or are themselves victims of it.
In general, the action plan aims to improve awareness of domestic violence, to ensure that it is always dealt with as a crime and to promote behavioural models that ensure non-violence.