SEESAC Organizes Second Meeting of Regional Working Group to Address Firearms Misuse in Domestic Violence

The second meeting of the Regional Working Group for the Development of a Tool for the Prevention of the Misuse of Firearms in Domestic Violence was held from 23 to 25 May 2023 in Durres, Albania. The meeting, organized by SEESAC, aimed to further develop a comprehensive tool that effectively detects and responds to risks associated with the presence and misuse of firearms in domestic violence situations.

The Regional Working Group, consisting of police officers appointed by the Western Balkan jurisdictions, continued its work on the development of the tool, which was initiated during the first meeting held in November 2022 in Podgorica, Montenegro.

The meeting was kicked off with the discussion on the main findings from focus groups organized by SEESAC with women's organizations and law enforcement officers involved in addressing domestic violence and issuing firearms licenses for civilians.

The participants also engaged in in-depth discussions on identifying firearms-related risks in the context of domestic violence and exploring appropriate response measures. The meeting further addressed issues such as risk assessment during police proceedings, procedures related to firearms when domestic violence is reported, cooperation with relevant institutions, and the management of risks in the aftermath of incidents.

The comprehensive agenda facilitated fruitful exchanges of knowledge and expertise among the participants, ensuring the development of a robust tool to address the misuse of firearms in domestic violence cases.

The meeting concluded with a discussion about follow-up activities, including the finalization of the tool and planned training on its application. The participants expressed their commitment to collaborate further and strengthen regional efforts to prevent and respond effectively to domestic violence involving firearms.

The development of the tool for preventing firearms misuse in domestic violence is a significant step towards ensuring the safety and well-being of women and men affected by such incidents in the Western Balkans.

This meeting was organized 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).