Case of Bălşan v. Romania

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Applicant is a Romanian citizen who alleged that her husband had been violent towards her and their children on numerous occasions. The assaults intensified when the applicant initiated divorce proceedings against her husband. The applicant’s husband assaulted and threatened her on multiple occasions, for which she required and obtained medical treatment. She then used her medical records as proof when she lodged formal complaints against her husband at the prosecutor’s office. She told prosecutors of the incidences of violence and the fact that her husband repeatedly locked her out of their shared residence. The police did not pursue criminal charges and only imposed an administrative fine, holding that the applicant had provoked the disputes. A similar pattern of abuse, medical attention, and contact with the authorities occurred over a period of months. The applicant brought the case to the European Court of Human Rights alleging that the State “had failed to protect her from domestic violence and to hold the perpetrator accountable.” The Court found that there were violations of Article 3 and Article 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which forbid torture and discrimination, respectively. The Court found that the authorities were aware of the violence against the applicant, and thus they had an obligation to act on the complaints. The applicant exhausted domestic avenues, but without success. The state’s responses did not comply with international standards about required state action to violence against women and domestic violence. (Available in English, Romanian, and Croatian. English version is official.)



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