Latvia

Population size: 

1,912,789 [1]

Number of people experiencing domestic abuse each year:

Of women, 5% in last 12 months, 32% lifetime.[2]

No research on male victims or other gender identities.

Cost of domestic abuse to the economy each year:

The European Institute for Gender Equality has estimated that the cost of intimate partner violence against women in Latvia could amount to EUR 442 million per year. (European Institute for Gender Equality (2014). Estimating the costs of gender-based violence in the European Union, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg.), 3.2% of GDP.[3]

Estimated % change due to COVID-19:

No research.


Current law and policy:

As a member of the EU, Latvia is committed to take action to end violence against women, and has signed the EU’s Istanbul Convention. However, to date it is yet to introduce a Domestic Abuse Bill or ratify the Convention. 

The European Union has committed to take action to end violence against women within the 27 EU member states and through foreign policy and development cooperation. As a result of this commitment, by 2018 Latvia had agreed to strengthen its legal framework and acceded to the Council of Europe’s Convention on Preventing and Combatting Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (the Istanbul Convention). 

In addition to signing this convention, the government has been working to introduce various measures into Latvian law, for example a regulation was introduced in 2014 that aimed to reduce cases of domestic violence and protect potential victims, by authorising the police to remove a violent person from a home and restrict them from returning, as well as prevent perpetrators from approaching the (potential) victim for a period of eight days. They have also introduced State funded social rehabilitation services for adult victims and perpetrators of violence. As well as aiming to increase public awareness of domestic violence through a variety of activities and training.

Nevertheless, to date Latvia has so far failed to ratify the Istanbul Convention or enact a specific Domestic Violence Law. Thus, protection against violent partners is only found within the General Provisions relating to violence found within the Criminal Code, in which violence against a partner or a relative is considered an aggravating circumstance.

In March 2020, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women urged the Latvian government to ratify the Istanbul Convention and make the fight against domestic violence a government priority.


Frontline Services:

 

Sources


[1] The World Bank, (1)

[2] UN Women, “Global Database on Violence Against Women – Latvia”, (evaw-global-database.unwomen.org)

[3] http://economicsandpeace.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/The-Economic-Cost-of-Violence-Containment.pdf


Further Reading


[1] UN Women, (10)

[2] https://www.unwomen.org/en/get-involved/step-it-up/commitments/latvia

[3] https://www.baltictimes.com/latvia_bristles_against_the_istanbul_convention_combating_violence_against_women/

[4] eige.europa.eu/

[5] https://bnn-news.com/latvia-does-a-lot-but-can-do-more-un-reports-on-prevention-of-discrimination-of-women-211005