Intervention Center for Victims of Sexual Violence
Sexual violence is one of the most serious human rights violations and paradoxically, one of the least reported and convicted crimes in Romania.
creation Intervention Center for Victims of Sexual Violence within the hospital is a change in the way the authorities intervene and support victims of aggression, in the sense of an integrated approach to cases, by ensuringservices appropriate to the immediate needs of victims, namely: medical examinations, post-traumatic care, guidance and counseling, provided in the same place and as close as possible to the crisis situation, through a multidisciplinary teamconsisting of doctor / nurse, forensic doctor, psychologist, social worker, police officer.
The new mode of integrated intervention is a signal that the authorities are giving to victims of violence and sexual abuse to encourage them to seek the help of specialized personnel and to file a complaint for the act to be punished.
Integrated intervention aims at involving professionals with a decisive role in addressing cases of sexual violence: doctors, psychologists, social workers in hospitals and / or social services, specialists in the outpatient department and the Emergency Department, forensic doctors and police officers.
Intervention Center for Victims of Sexual Violence it is dedicated to all victims, without discrimination, the services offered being free.
Access to services is done through a circuit that begins in the Emergency Unit, where the specific medical protocol is initiated for victims who need assistance. The staff of the Emergency Reception Unit is the first to intervene to provide medical care to the victim and then she is taken to the office where the Intervention Center operates.
Intervention Center for Victims of Sexual Violence it is a specially arranged space, where the victim can benefit both from the restoration of the feeling of security, protection and primary counseling, in order to identify the immediate needs and start the next stage of the intervention, depending on the case.
Subsequently, the victim is taken to the specially arranged office where he worksThe center intervention for victims of sexual violence, being so protected from new situations of stress and revictimization generated by bureaucratic procedures that involve trips to the police and forensic services to prove the aggression.
Through the integrated intervention provided in the framework Center intervention for victims of sexual violence, the victims are supported and encouraged to take all necessary steps for the aggressor to be held accountable.
The coordinator of the center initiates the integrated intervention procedure requesting the support of the other professionals involved, from the police and social assistance services. In this way, the police officer called on the spot records the victim’s complaint and can issue a temporary protection order and through the intervention of the social worker, the victim can benefit free of charge from the support services provided by the General Directorate of Social Assistance, respectively psychological counseling. , for a period of time specific to the needs of the victim, legal advice, accommodation in a sheltered housing or inclusion in support programs.
In the Intervention Center for Victims of Sexual Violence primary counseling is initiated on the course of intervention required.
The victim can benefit free of charge from medical services and the taking of biological samples with the help of the specific kit provided by the office.
For additional information on how to intervene in situations of domestic violence and implicitly sexual violence, interested persons can call the toll-free national line 0800 500 333, with permanent program, call-center administered by the National Agency for Equal Opportunities between Women and Men (ANES)
The center intervention for victims of sexual violence is part of a national network of 10
such units opened in 10 Emergency Hospitals in Bucharest and in the country
Bucharest University Emergency Hospital
Bacău County Emergency Hospital
Brăila County Emergency Hospital
Craiova County Emergency Hospital
Constanța County Emergency Hospital
Piatra-Neamț County Emergency Hospital
Satu Mare County Emergency Hospital
Slobozia County Emergency Hospital
Sibiu County Emergency Hospital
Timisoara County Emergency Hospital
For the emergency intervention of the Police and in order to benefit from emergency medical assistance, on the spot, following a sexual assault, the victims are advised to call the unique emergency number 112.
In cases of sexual violence, victims are instructed to ask the intervention teams to travel to a hospital where there is an operation.Intervention center for victims of sexual violence in order to benefit from the integrated services provided within them. In these cases, the primary intervention is done in the Emergency Reception Units, where the medical staff provides the necessary assistance to the victim and ensures that the patient’s condition is stable and then the victim is taken over by the coordinator of the intervention center.
The 10 Intervention centers for victims of sexual violence are established at national level based on the predefined project “Support for the implementation of the Istanbul Convention in Romania”, implemented by the National Agency for Equal Opportunities between Women and Men (ANES) and funded through the Norwegian Financial Mechanism 2014-2021, the program ” Justice”. This project is a strategic action to support the Romanian public administration authorities for the adoption of a coordinated action in addressing the challenges posed by the implementation of the Istanbul Convention, ratified by Romania by Law no. 30/2016.
Establishing 10 Center for victims of sexual violence
The first intervention center for victims of sexual violence was opened on Monday, May 10, 2021, at the University Emergency Hospital Bucharest (SUUB), based on a collaboration protocol concluded by the National Agency for Gender Equality (ANES) with this health unit, the National Institute of Legal Medicine “Mina Minovici”, the General Directorate for Social Assistance of the Municipality of Bucharest and supported by the General Inspectorate of the Romanian Police.
The Intervention Centre for Victims of Sexual Violence comes with a new approach in providing support to victims and emphasizes the integrated management of cases of sexual violence, ensuring the intervention of a multidisciplinary team of: doctor/medical assistant, coroner, psychologist, police officer and social worker.
“Domestic violence is one of the most serious social problems globally. In Romania, this phenomenon is underreported, but the figures we have tell us that 94 % of the victims of rape reported in 2020 are women and girls and 92 % of the victims of sexual assault are women and girls. Compared to 2019, there was a 30 % increase in reported cases of rape, sexual assault and sexual intercourse against minors last year. Beyond the figures there are dramas and what’s even more painful is that when such serious violence happens, the victims are unfairly turned into guilty. I encourage women who fall victim to violence of all kinds to appeal to help and everyone who knows about such acts to support victims and guide them in seeking help,” said Labor and Social Protection Minister Raluca Turcan.
In the center opened at SUUB, victims of sexual violence will be able to benefit directly and free of charge from all necessary support services: emergency medical assistance, post-traumatic assistance, biological sampling, psychological and/or legal counselling, support to initiate the legal procedure for filing a criminal complaint, social assistance by settling the costs of issuing forensic certificates and guidance, where appropriate, to adequate social services for housing.
In this way, women are exempted from making numerous trips to the police or INML to prove that they have been victims of sexual assault and are supported to take all the steps necessary for the aggressor to be held accountable.
“We are pleased that the first intervention center for victims of sexual violence opens at the Bucharest Emergency University Hospital. We have professional doctors, multidisciplinary teams that can provide victims with all necessary medical care, regardless of their complexity, but also psychological support. Victims of sexual violence will benefit from medical care within the Emergency Receiving Unit, but also in the Ambulatory of the Bucharest University Emergency Hospital. We assure our patients that they will benefit from high quality medical services, performed with professionalism and dedication”, said the manager of the Bucharest University Emergency Hospital, prof. dr. Cătălin CÎRSTOIU.
The opening of the center at the Bucharest Emergency University Hospital is a first step that ANES takes, along with the partner institutions, to change the perception of the intervention in these cases and situations of sexual violence, in the sense of providing integrated services for victims, by providing medical and forensic examinations, post-traumatic assistance, guidance and counselling in order to overcome the risk situation.
“We need to better understand cases of sexual violence in all their complexity and to meet all the specific needs of victims in order to avoid re-victimization, shorten the institutional path that can be followed in such situations and ease their access to justice. In parallel, we focused on regulating prevention and protection measures at all levels of the community and society, gradual and adapted to the realities, by developing the national strategy for preventing and combating sexual violence “SINERGIE” 2020-2030, a public policy document, which will be approved shortly. Sexual violence is one of the most frequent and serious violations of human rights and, paradoxically, one of the least reported and condemned crimes and, therefore, we are convinced that these integrated services will contribute to increasing the level of trust of victims in the authorities”, said ANES State Secretary Luminița Popescu.
The center is equipped with adequate equipment, instruments and medical supplies, as well as kits for biological sampling, in the format approved by the Superior Council of Legal Medicine by Decision no.6/2017 on “Standard order for the sampling of biological samples in sexual assaults”.
The Intervention Center for Victims of Sexual Violence was set up within the project “Support for the implementation of the Istanbul Convention in Romania” funded through the Norwegian Financial Mechanism 2014-2021, which aims to set up 10 integrated services centers for victims of sexual violence, at national level, in accordance with the provisions of the Istanbul Convention (art.25)
Other 9 centers, providing integrated services, are opend in:
Slobozia County Emergency Hospital,
Timisoara County Emergency Hospital,
Craiova County Emergency Hospital,
Sibiu County Emergency Hospital,
Braila County Emergency Hospital,
Piatra Neamt County Emergency Hospital,
Bacău County Emergency Hospital,
Constanta County Emergency Hospital,
Satu Mare County Emergency Hospital.