Partnerships > Latvia

Strengthening Laws to Address Domestic Violence

Global Rights for Women works in partnership with advocates and legal professionals in Latvia to strengthen and refine laws addressing domestic violence so that they work to protect women from violence and hold offenders accountable.  

In 2014, amendments to Latvia’s Civil Procedure, Police and Criminal Codes which include a broad definition of domestic violence went into effect. These new amendments include provisions which allow police to issue protective orders against abusers and make it a crime for abusers to violate protective orders. In addition, when a protective order is issued, the abuser is now required to leave the victim’s house, instead of the victim being required to leave a shared house.

Leading the effort for a safer, more fair legal system response to domestic violence is Global Rights for Women’s NGO partner, Center MARTA.

Center MARTA is a resource center for women located in Latvia’s capital, Riga. MARTA’s work includes

  • Supporting victims of violence
  • Youth programs aimed at awareness raising and challenging gender stereotypes
  • Advocacy on issues of violence against women and gender equality
  • Operates a hotline for women who want to travel abroad to work in an effort to combat human trafficking
  • Capacity building for civil society and public officials

In 2014 GRW executive director Cheryl Thomas traveled to Latvia with a team of experts to conduct a training on implementation of their newly passed domestic violence laws. To read more about this trip please see the blog post “Update from a journey around the world

In March 2016, five Latvians participated in a Coordinated Community Response (CCR) Workshop with delegates from five other countries. Attendees participated in three days of intensive training by the staff and expert trainers of the Domestic Abuse Intervention Programs (DAIP), home of The Duluth Model. In addition, participants had four days of learning opportunities in the Twin Cities (Minnesota, USA) including lectures, panel discussions, and exercises with GRW trainers on building a CCR in their home countries. One participant said “The training was incredible. I only have good words about it. I have learned so much, and from the people that are at the heart of the model and at the creation of it. It has been a transformative experience.”

To read more about this workshop visit “Coordinated Community Response to Domestic Violence: A Workshop in Minnesota (USA)“or “Global Rights for Women brings lessons learned in Minnesota to the World”