"New Start Pack" will help victims of domestic violence who must leave their marital home

The Interministerial Conference on Women's Rights (CIM) agreed to a measure for victims of domestic violence who have to leave their marital home with a "New Start Pack", reports La Libre Belgique on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, the secretary of state for gender equality, Marie-Colline Leroy (Ecolo) and the ten CIM ministers committed to providing a coordinated, rapid and individualised response to victims of domestic violence who have no choice but to leave their partner. The proposal, in the form of a New Start Pack, is based on Recommendation 35 of the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), which calls on states to ensure that victims have access to high-quality financial and legal assistance, free or at low cost, as well as medical, psychosocial and psychological services.

The New Start Pack provides emergency financial assistance to help victims meet the initial expenses they face: rent guarantee, first rent, legal fees and more. It also includes psychological assistance through individual and group sessions. Additionally, the measure aims to ensure the visibility of existing protection measures: non-disclosable address, anti-repair alarm, temporary residence ban, etc.

Particular attention will be paid to employment; for example, victims can benefit from helpful arrangements as part of their integration process.

State secretary for gender equality and diversity Marie-Colline Leroy ©BELGA PHOTO LAURIE DIEFFEMBACQ

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