Although originally a criminal offense, Article 215 dealing with domestic violence
was expelled from the Criminal Code in 2012. With the entry into force of the new Criminal Code, as of 1 January 2013, the offense of violent behaviour in the family was abolished, but the protection of all members of the family from the violence in relation to the existing Criminal Code has been further enhanced, since the violence against family members is defined as aggravated form for a number of other offenses (such as bodily injury, rape and others) and is punishable by severe penalties. Consequently, domestic violence is now in the sphere of misdemeanour sanctions, for which a maximum penalty of 90 days imprisonment could be ordered, and there are also some issues with the protection orders., .
The definition of domestic violence was further developed by the concept of "economic violence", and the definition of the family has been expanded so that it includes former marital and non-marital partners, children of each of them and their mutual children. At the same time, the new law increased the penalties for perpetrators of domestic violence, which are still very low. The Law on Protection from Domestic Violence, besides the imposition of fines and imprisonment, predicts protection measures and precautions for perpetrators of domestic violence.
According to the findings of the Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women, police and prosecutors will often request psycho-social rehabilitation orders for the perpetrator over punishment., 
The Special Rapporteur also noted that judges are prone to under-sentence in domestic violence cases, or to impose suspended sentences.
According to the Advocates for Human Rights / Autonomous Women’s House Zagreb / Bulgarian Gender Research Foundation report, the judiciary and social welfare centres (which provide support to victims in domestic violence cases) do not have an adequate understanding of the complexities of domestic violence cases, meaning that in many instances, women bringing cases through the courts are re-victimised. For instance, judges may see their primary role as reuniting the family, rather than protecting the victim from further violence, and may stop at warning the perpetrator, rather than imposing a punishment, or they may expect victims to face their abusers at close proximity.
Under the Family Law, parents are held accountable for exposing children to violence in the home; this means that victims of domestic violence can, and are prosecuted by the courts for failing to protect their children from witnessing the violence. This functions as a significant barrier to reporting. In addition, the failure of judges to impose criminal sanctions in domestic violence cases also deters women from reporting subsequent abuse. Lack of trust in the judiciary and in the social welfare system to provide adequate protection and support were also identified as barriers to reporting.
According to data in a report by United Nations Development Fund (UNDP) there were 16,978 cases of domestic violence logged by law enforcement bodies in 2009; of these, 482 (3%) were registered as criminal cases.
A report by the Advocates for Human Rights / Autonomous Women’s House Zagreb / Bulgarian Gender Research Foundation notes that many survivors of domestic violence interviewed for their research were positive about the response from the police in their case. Indeed, survivors and experts interviewed repeatedly stated that of all the institutions dealing with domestic violence cases, the police provided the most effective and sensitive response. However, some serious problems were reported, including police failing to prioritise domestic violence cases (for instance, asking women to come back at another time when a dedicated domestic violence officer would be on duty), or believing that domestic violence was a private matter, or the result of alcohol abuse, and that it was their role to reconcile parties.
The same report states that it is commonplace for ‘dual arrests’ to take place in domestic violence cases, where the victim is arrested alongside the perpetrator (for instance, for verbally insulting her attacker, or defending herself against him). The report argues that this stems from the fact that the legal definition of domestic violence is very vague, and that police often fail to identify the primary aggressor in a case of domestic violence. Fear of arrest acts as a significant barrier to women reporting cases of domestic violence.
According to official data of the police, under the Law on Protection from Domestic Violence from year 2003 when it entered the force, each year between 11,500 and 17,500 perpetrators have been reported, and the number of victims of such offenses ranges between 14,500 and 22,200, of which women are victims in 64% to 71% of cases, depending on the year. By the number of women who are murdered each year, we can see from the data of the police that it is a worrying number of 22-45 women per year. Their current or former partners / husbands were the perpetrators in 20% to even 65% of cases.
Two types of shelters exist for female victims of domestic violence: shelters established by local communities and those set-up by non-governmental organizations. These shelters receive federal and local funding. However, the Ombudsman for gender Equality noted the conditions of these shelters to be unsatisfactory. 
is a criminal offence in Croatia.
Marital rape is specifically classified as a crime under the 1998 Criminal Code.
For the first time in the Criminal Code of the Republic of Croatia, the criminal offense of sexual intercourse without consent and the offense of rape have been separated. Rape of course presupposes the use of force, thereby consent is automatically turned off, while for the criminal offense of sexual intercourse without consent just lack of consent is enough, and the use of force to resist is nonessential. The penalties prescribed for the offense of sexual intercourse without consent are less than those for rape The penalties for rape are between one and fifteen years’ imprisonment, depending on the nature of the attack, the age of the victim, and the level of harm imposed 
In relation to rape, there are differences in the burden of proof. The burden of proof is shifted to the accused, who must prove that there was consent, while the complainant proves only the existence of a sexual act.
The report by Advocates for Human Rights / Autonomous Women’s House Zagreb / Bulgarian Gender Research Foundation mentions cases of police refusing to believe victims reporting rape.
There is no clause in the criminal code allowing a rapist to escape prosecution by marrying his victim.
Research carried out in 2003 found that one in three women in Croatia had been a victim of sexual violence, namely forced or coerced sex.
Data from the Ministry of Affairs shows that for every reported case of rape, there are 15-20 unreported from the year 2000 to the year 2010, 1228 offenses of rape was reported, of which 958 completed and 270 were attempts. On average, between 90 and 150 such crimes are reported annually.
However, Rape is one of the least reported crimes with the highest proportion of dark figures. 
is now criminalised under the new Criminal Code, which entered into force in January 2013. This Code also regulates sexual offences in a different manner to the previous Code and there is no offence of domestic violence in this Code. Rather, the fact that the act is committed against a close person is a qualified form of certain offences (assault, compulsion, threat). This, however, leaves a legal gap with respect to certain forms of domestic violence, such as psychological and economic abuse.
Sexual harassment is also covered under the 2008 Act on Gender Equality. Under the law, sexual harassment is defined as ‘any form of unwanted verbal, non-verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that occurs with the purpose or effect of violating the dignity of a person, in particular when creating an unpleasant, hostile, degrading or offensive environment’.
The Act on Gender Equality applies in all places of employment, education institutions, and government bodies.
The Act on Gender Equality includes the establishment of a dedicated body for combating gender discrimination, including sexual harassment, to be overseen by a parliament-appointed ombudsman for gender equality. 
Complaints about harassment based on sex and sexual harassment constitute 45.7% of all complaints to the Ombudsperson for Gender Equality in Croatia, in area of labour rights. They are submitted exclusively women. In most cases it’s about sexual harassment by their superior so that they are under pressure to enter into a sexual relationship with the abuser.
However, the US Department of State notes in its human rights report for 2012 that victims of abuse are very reluctant to report instances of sexual harassment.
There are several reasons for this: Lawsuits launched to discrimination takes discouragingly long (a similar situation exists in criminal proceedings); the victims are uncomfortable to repeatedly witness in front of many people on the ways and occasions of the sexual harassment, during which they are exposed to provocations of the opposing party; with initiating of a lawsuit comes uncertain stability and security of the current job etc; lawyers also do not have enough practice in initiating and conducting anti-discrimination procedures. 
Being situated in such a situation, from the experience of the Ombudsperson, the victim usually goes on sick leave because they cannot resolve the situation alone and cannot handle the resulting pressure.
The report by the Ombudsmen for Gender Equality also noted that number of reported cases of violence against women has increased over the past ten years. This is due, not to an increase in violence, but greater public awareness about the issue.
There is no evidence to indicate that female genital mutilation is practised in Croatia. However, it is a criminal offense under the new Criminal Code.
As elsewhere in the former Yugoslavia, sexual violence was used against people of both genders to terrorise and displace populations during the Balkans conflicts
in the early 1990s.
During her visit to Croatia in 2012, the Special Rapporteur noted that in her view, the legacy of violence from the wartime period ‘tends to become privatized and takes on new forms as it manifests itself in the private and family sphere’, partly accounting for high levels of domestic violence in Croatia today.
In a 2010 report, Amnesty International voiced concern that war crimes of a sexual nature were not included in indictments for war crimes being heard in Croatia.
A more recent report by Amnesty International (2013) states that tackling impunity for past crimes remained a challenge, and that most crimes of sexual violence were still not being included in indictments.
is legally permitted, there are different methods and ways of trying to restrict women’s right to safe and accessible abortion in Croatia.
The price of abortion is unreasonably high, varies from hospital to hospital, and it reaches a height of minimum wage. The stigma and humiliation suffered by women who go to abortion cannot be measured by money. According to the health measures for the realization of the right to freely decide on childbirth, women in Croatia can legally terminate a pregnancy without consent of the commission, if the pregnancy that lasts up to 10 weeks. According to the same law, an abortion can be performed only by authorized health institutions. Every pregnancy termination in accordance with the regulations must be submitted on the corresponding form to the Croatian Institute for Public Health.
During 2011 it was noted that, 10,401 abortions was reported, out of which 4,347 or 41.8% were on the woman’s request. Compared with the year 2010, total number of abortions increased. Of the women who had undergone legally induced abortion, the highest number is among those aged 30-39 years (45.04%). Most of women who seek abortions already have one (823, or 18.9%), two (1,190, or 27.4%) or three or more children.
Reproductive health education
is lacking in Croatia. While condoms are widely available, other forms of contraceptives are less easily accessible. “Health Education”, a program traditionally inspired by the Catholic Church was updated for the 2013-2014 school year after the Ministry of Science, Education and Sport held a public debates and forums. 
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