Two Violence Lab panels at the ESC 2020

Two Violence Lab panels at the ESC 2020

Sep, 10, 2020

An annual conference of the European Society of Criminology (ESC) will take place on 10-11 September 2020. This year’s conference will be held online due to the current pandemic situation. The Violence Lab is organising 2 panels with total of 8 presentations (4 presentations per panel). Presentations will be given by 9 Violence Lab team members. With violence, as the key topic on both panels, Violence Lab team members will talk about specific types of violence like sexual violence, violence among preschool children, violence in prison and violence in sports. One presentation will tackle the phenomenon of the bureaucratic cyberbullying within the cyber violence and one presentation will challenge the sociological theories behind the etiology of violence. The idea behind this year’s panels is to show the diversity of violence phenomenon through an interesting and sometimes unduly neglected types of violence and theories which strive to explain them.

Violence Lab’s ESC 2020 presentations:

Panel 1 On Sexual Violence, Violence in Sport and Prison Violence 

(ESC Working Group “European Violence Monitor”)

Chair: Goran Livazović (Head of Regional Violence Research Lab in Osijek)

Presentation 1

Igor Vuletić

Associate Professor
University in Osijek, Faculty of Law

Sexual violence – new conceptualisation in Croatian Criminal Code

The new Croatian Criminal Code entered into force on January 1 2013, introducing the new concept of sexual crimes into Croatian criminal law. The reform was, above all, motivated by the efforts of the legislator to follow international standards, especially the ones imposed by the European Union and Council of Europe. However, it is interesting that creators of the new Criminal Code did not follow the usual German model in the case of sex-crimes. Instead, they chose to model sex – crimes on the English example. Such a solution is untypical for the Croatian legal tradition. The new concept significantly expands criminal liability for sexual crimes in several ways. Typical examples can be found in the criminalization of negligent forms of rape and the incrimination of rape by deception. These types of sexual offence are atypical in continental law tradition. Until now, they have not been characteristic of Croatian criminal law and it will be interesting to see how the courts will accept and apply the new model. In this paper, the authors discuss these changes from a theoretical and also a practical point of view. They give a critical analysis of the new concept of sex crimes under the new Croatian CC and comment on some interesting cases from recent court practice in Croatia. Using the examples from case -law, the authors identify some of the main problems underlying the new concept.
Keywords: rape, deception, mistake of facts, consent, sexual violence

Presentation 2

Lucija Sokanović

Assistant Professor
University in Split, Faculty of Law
Head of Regional Violence Research Lab in Split

Violence in and around sport – Croatian perspective

Children and young people often see athletes as their role models. Even though many admire their hard work, persistence and results, many fail in discussing the appeal of seductive amounts of salaries, bonuses and rewards, and relativizing success. Special problem consists regarding violence in sport stadiums and outside them. Unfortunately, hooliganism and other disorders at sports competitions have become a regular companion of sports competitions. Despite continuous work in education, progressive legal regulation aimed at preventing violence and serious and thoughtful actions of police, violence in sport persistently defies all state authorities’ positive efforts for peaceful enjoyment at sport events. In addition, discussions about criminal responsibility in sports often, regardless of more or less objective analysis, involve strong emotional support or passionate disgust. In Croatia, a special legal act; ‘Act on the prevention of disorder at sports competitions’ regulates the subject matter. The purpose of this Act is to ensure the safety of spectators, competitors and other participants in a sport competition and to create an environment that prevents, suppresses and sanctions misconduct, disorder and violence before, during and after a sport competition. Furthermore, this acts aims to protect other citizens and their property and the property of legal entities, and creating conditions for a sports competition to contribute as much as possible to the quality of life of citizens, especially young people.
Key words: violence, sport competitions, prevention, safety, legal regulation

Presentation 3

Petra Šprem

Research Assistant
University in Zagreb, Faculty of Law

Boxing in the 21st century – the paradoxical blindness of modern societies

Consent of the injured party, under certain conditions, represents one of the reasons for exclusion of unlawfulness. Boxing and other similar contact sports represent a classic example of how the legal system tolerates behaviour that is substantively contrary to social norms. Even though the purpose of such a sport is to physically harm the other person, boxing has an Olympic sport status and is supported by an impressive audience. The atmosphere of modern 21st century society, which is strongly focused on fighting violence, requires a multidisciplinary re-examination of martial arts as a type of legalized (primarily physical) violence. Countries such as Norway, Island and Cuba prohibit boxing, while there is an ongoing heated debate in Sweden, that had already prohibited boxing on its territory once, regarding the (mainly health) consequences of the sport. A similar situation is ongoing in the USA where NGO’s appeals for prohibiting boxing are growing. However, even though their goal is the same, requests for abolishing professional boxing are rarely discussed on a legal and criminological level. International professional literature on violence in sports is extremely poor and most often focused on the medical, psychological, rarely moral aspect, while domestic literature on this topic is almost non-existent. Despite the fact that social community efforts in the last century are strongly focused on fighting violence, when it comes to sports, physical violence, even if strictly controlled, is an area of criminal-political blindness. This paper seeks to provide answers to key questions related to the issue of martial arts through four main dimensions: social, psychological, criminological and legal.
Key words: boxing, violence, exclusion of unlawfulness

Presentation 4

Reana Bezić

Assistant
University in Zagreb, Faculty of Law
Head of Regional Violence Research Lab in Zagreb

Violence in Prison

Violence is an integral part of prison life. Although the violence is present in everyday life, the most important difference from prison violence is the context and environment in which it occurs. To better understand prison violence in Croatia, this paper will research incidence and different types of violent behavior based on official statistics. The most common form of violence within prisons is inmate on inmate, although violent acts towards prison staff or self-inflicted acts are present. Furthermore, this paper will propose possible preventing strategies based on the data and comparison of Croatian system with other European countries.
Keywords: violence in prison, Croatian prison system, preventing strategies

Panel 2 New Trends in Understanding and Researching Violence

(ESC Working Group “European Violence Monitor”)

Chair: Lucija Sokanović (Head of Regional Violence Research Lab in Split)

Presentation 1

Marko Mrakovčić

Assistant Professor
University in Rijeka, Faculty of Law
Head of Regional Violence Research Lab in Rijeka

Contributions of sociological theories in understanding the social dimensions of crime – with an emphasis on violence

The presentation discusses the relationship between society and crime. More specifically, it discusses how ideas and concepts of different sociological theories can contribute to understanding aspects and mechanisms of social life which is important for explaining both the causes and consequences of crimes on individuals and society, and for preventing, controlling and resolving crimes. It starts from the thesis that crime is a significantly socially constructed phenomenon whose manifestation and sanctioning is significantly influenced by the dimensions of time and space, which are framed and shaped by the characteristics of a specific historical and social context. In this sense, presentation discusses how aspects of power, ideology, culture and social organization affect how the general and professional public on one hand, and social control institutions on the other determine: (1) which forms of social action are not acceptable to society, and (2) through which formal and informal social norms and practices should social actor and institutions prevent and suppress the occurrence of such phenomena. Special emphasis is placed on how the ideas and concepts of sociological theories of crime can be applied to the problem of occurrence and suppression of violence (violent crimes) in contemporary societies.
Key words: sociology, crime, violence, social control, prevention

Presentation 2

Goran Livazović

Associate Professor
University in Osijek, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
Head of Regional Violence Research Lab in Osijek

The impact of media on health beliefs, violence and related problem behaviours: COVID-19 pandemic evidence from an empirical study in Croatia

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has impacted numerous individual and social changes worldwide, causing health and behavioural practices that could lead to an increase in personal problem behaviours, with media exposure and preferences playing a significant role. The aim of this research study during the prolonged social isolation was to investigate the impact of media on health beliefs, psychological and emotional traits, personal leisure activities, as well as internalised (stress, depression, anxiety) and externalised (physical violence, drug abuse, property destruction, eating disorders, cyber-violence) problem behaviour. The hypotheses was that media induced fear, or the „mean world syndrome“, represents a significant impact on personal health beliefs, life practices and proneness to problem behaviour. The study was implemented with 461 participants during the first isolation wave of the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic in Croatia. There were 70 male (15,2%) and 391 female (84,8%) participants aged 15-62 (Mean=26,42; Mode=23). The results were obtained via Google docs using an online survey, and analysed using descriptive and inferential statistical procedures in SPPS. Results show multiple significant relations between personal media preferences and their impact on health beliefs, psychological and emotional traits, personal leisure activities, as well as internalised and externalised problem behaviours.
Keywords: media, violence, problem behaviour, social isolation, COVID-19, psychological and emotional traits

Presentation 3

Anna-Maria Getoš Kalac

Associate Professor
University in Zagreb, Faculty of Law
Head of Violence Research Lab

&

Dalia Pribisalić

Research Assistant
University in Zagreb, Faculty of Law

Bureaucratic cyberbullying

The presentation provides empirical findings from a victimisation survey on cyberbullying in Croatian public research funding conducted at the end of 2019 by the Violence Research Lab. The phenomenon of cyberbullying by faceless bureaucracy is discussed within the wider context of conceptualising cyber violence and (cyber) harassment. This type of cyberbullying is characterised by excessive bureaucracy, cyber correspondence, facelessness, transparent arbitrariness, absolute authority and nonsense, whereas the repeating or chronic nature of single incidents through a longer period is decisive for determining its existence as such. Our explorative victimisation survey among Croatian Science foundation (CSF) (co)funded project managers detected five out of these six characteristics. Thus, it provides clear evidence of project managers’ chronic exposure to this type of harmful behaviour in Croatia, where academics face particular vulnerability, considering the state’s obvious failure to set-up any guarantees for effective realisation of academic freedom in and through public research funding. The study findings are further analysed in relation to (criminal) tycoonisation of public research funds and the apparent total lack of legal and administrative remedies or control mechanisms in relation to CSF.
Key words: cyberbullying, cyber violence, harassment, violence research

Presentation 4

Karlo Bojčić

Research Assistant
University in Osijek, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

Physical Violence among Preschool Children

This presentation analyses the latest scientific research on the problem of physical violence among preschool children: forms and consequences of physical violence among preschool children, and examples of prevention programs. Individual factors (such as genes, gender, personality traits), and environmental factors (such as family, educational institutions, peers, local community, cultural context and media) may contribute to the development of physical violence. Physical violence is the most visible form of violence among preschool children, and includes hitting, kicking, pushing, pinching, pulling or destroying a child’s clothing and belongings. The consequences of exposure to physical violence can have a prolonged impact on children throughout their lives, as they include loneliness, depression, sadness, fear, insecurity, low self-esteem, illness, and gaining a reputation that makes them a more attractive target of violence than non-victimized children. Aggressive children also suffer from negative consequences of physical violence and are more prone to future problem behaviour like alcohol and drug abuse, violent crimes, suicide attempts and family abuse. To prevent these negative consequences, specific interventions that target preschool aggressive children are needed.
Key words: Preschool Children, Physical Violence, Early Childhood, Risk and Protective Factors