SEESAC Conducts Regional Consultations on How to Prevent Misuse of Firearms in Domestic Violence

SEESAC is supporting authorities in the Western Balkans to effectively prevent the misuse of firearms in domestic violence.

To that end, SEESAC is conducting a regional analysis of the misuse of firearms in domestic violence and supporting the development of a practical tool to address the risks related to the presence of firearms in domestic violence and the tool for gender-sensitive firearm license approval.

To ensure that analysis takes into consideration the experience of relevant professionals and that practical tools effectively contribute to the prevention of firearms misuse, SEESAC conducted extensive regional consultations. From 21 March to 27 April, SEESAC organised 15 focus group discussions in which participated more than 60 police officers dealing with domestic violence and officers in charge of firearms license approval, as well as 17 women’s organisations.

The goal of focus group meetings was to discuss the main challenges in preventing the misuse of firearms in domestic violence, document the multiple ways in which firearms affect women’s safety and well-being, and exchange ideas on how to enhance institutional response and adequately address risks related to the presence of firearms in the domestic violence context.

The findings of the focus groups will be presented to regional working groups developing above-mentioned tools and will thoroughly inform their content and approach.

Focus group discussion were held in Sarajevo, Tirana, Podgorica, Pristina, and Skopje.

The discussions were organised in the scope of SEESAC’s more extensive work of increasing response to factors fuelling demand and misuse of firearms in the Western Balkans as part of the Support for Enhancing the Fight Against the Illegal Possession, Misuse, and Trafficking of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) in the Western Balkans project, funded by the European Union through the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA II).