After the adoption of the amendments and supplements to the Law on Family (Official Gazette of the Republic of Macedonia No. 83/04) the Republic of Macedonia introduced provisions prohibiting any type of violence in marriage and family.
According to this Law, domestic violence is any conduct by a family member who by applying force, threat or intimation causes bodily injury, emotional or sexual abuse and material, sexual or labor exploitation. The Law defines among which family members there can be family violence, while the victim can be any member of the family, regardless of gender and age. The perpetrator of domestic violence can be former or present marital or extramarital partner, the person that lived or that lives in extramarital community with the victim, a person who has a child with the victim, a person of fourth line of lineage and second line of lineage of in-law relations, i.e. person with whom the victim lives in martial or extramarital or any other type of community.
Amendments to the Law on Family were adopted in 2006 (Official Gazette of the Republic of Macedonia No. 33/06) and they envisage specific competences of individual institutions (Ministry of the Interior, Ministry of Health and courts) in the context of enforcement of provisional protection measures.
The Law on Family also envisages the competencies of the Social Work Centers (SWCs) in working with victims of domestic violence, as well as the court procedures in ordering provisional protection measures. Thirty (30) Social Work Centres cover the entire territory of the Republic of Macedonia.
Additional amendments to the Law on Family were adopted in 2008. These amendments harmonize the domestic violence definition with the definition of the Criminal Code 1996 (amended in 2004), and provide the possibility for associations of citizens to implement some of the protection measures for victims of domestic violence. Institutions and bodies undertaking measures for protection against domestic violence have the duty to file a report to the relevant SWC within 72 hours from the time they have undertaken certain measures. The amendments also provide the possibility for victims, through the SWCs, to file directly an individual motion with the court requesting the application of provisional protection measures. Other draft amendments to the Law on the Family are currently being discussed in Parliament.
Source of Information
Response of the Government of the Republic of Macedonia to the questionnaire on violence against women 2011; CEDAW/C/MKD/Q/1-3/Add.1 p. 5