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Today, 16 April 2009, a two-day consultation seminar entitled Family violence started at Brdo pri Kranju, which is annually organized by the Criminal Police Directorate at the General Police Directorate and State Prosecutors' Association of Slovenia.

The purpose of the consultation seminar is to find solutions and answers to various questions, and contribute to a more efficient response to and prevention of family violence as well as a decrease in the consequences of such criminal offences.

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At today's opening, the participants were greeted with the introductory words of Acting Director General of the Police Janko Goršek and Minister for the Interior Katarina Kresal, Human Rights Ombudsman Dr. Zdenka Čebašek Travnik, State Prosecutor General Barbara Brezigar, State Secretary at the Ministry of Justice Boštjan Škrlec and director of the Judicial Training Center Damijan Florjančič.

Minister for the Interior Katarina Kresal

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Acting Director General of the Police Janko Goršek

The participants of the seminar were, on behalf of the organizer, also greeted by Primož Suknaič, vice-president of the State Prosecutors' Association of Slovenia, M.A. Aleksander Jevšek, director of the Criminal Police Directorate at the General Police Directorate.

The eighth successive traditional seminar again features discussions on family violence by criminal police officers, state prosecutors, judges and counsels for children, from legal as well as other points of view, such as psychological and social.

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They consider topics, such as the implementation of the new criminal laws, restraining order measures, which have been established in practice for a long period, and measures in accordance with the Family Violence Act. The police actively participated in the preparation of this Act, which entered into force on 1 March 2008, while contributing to an enhanced cooperation between the individual institutions.

One of the more important topics of this year's consultation seminar is also the cooperation and mutual integration of authorities when handling this sort of violence. Experts have established that it is extremely hard to discover, consider and study violence in intimate relationships. Victims of violence as well as the perpetrators don't like to discuss violence in intimate relationships, especially with unknown persons. Therefore, there are probably many more cases of violence, which are unknown to the police. For this reason, experts and the civil society are to be thanked for the 'discovery' of invisible victims in the private sphere, especially of the victimization of children and women. In that context, the cooperation between individual institutions, such as the police, social work centres, prosecutor's offices and courts, health institutions, non-governmental organizations and others is extremely important.

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Around 170 participants from the police, prosecutor's office and courts are this year participating at the seminar; representatives of counsels for children also came to the meeting.

Participants also discussed the characteristics and working with the perpetrators of family violence, including the experience of the project Counsel - the voice of a child and damage, caused by family violence.