Violence Research Lab meeting on methodology in Split

Violence Research Lab meeting on methodology in Split

Split, Croatia
Nov, 21, 2019

From the 21st to 22nd of November 2019, at University of Split’s Faculty of Law, a project meeting was held.

This meeting focused on two main project objectives. On the 21st, the main topic of discussion was the progress regarding the ‘dark figure’ of delinquent violence, while on the 22nd the team members focused on the issue of genuine violence classification system. The meeting was attended by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Anna-Maria Getoš Kalac, Head of project Croatian Violence Monitor, Assist. Prof. Dr. Lucija Sokanović, Head of Violence Research Lab Split, and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Goran Livazović, Head of Violence Research Lab Osijek. Other team members participants were: Project researchers Dr. Marija Baković, Assist. Prof. Dr. Ruža Karlović, Assist. Prof. Dr. Marko Mrakovčić, Dr. Davor Mayer, Dr. Reana Bezić, Mr Pero Mihaljević, Dr. Vedran Recher and Mr Nikola Šimunić, as well as Project assistants Ms Petra Šprem, Mr Karlo Bojčić and Ms Dalia Pribisalić.

Assist. Prof. Dr. Lucija Sokanović, Head of Violence Research Lab Split, welcomed all the participants to Faculty Law at the University of Split. She continued with reminiscing about how the recent commemoration of “The fall of Vukovar” reminded her of the level of violence that exists in Balkan area, and reminded everyone present of the importance of the project’s goal to protect those most vulnerable. In her introductory speech, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Anna-Maria Getoš Kalac stated how pleased she is with the amount of team members that met up in Split and presented CroViMo project’s team growth by introducing a new member; Ms Dalia Pribisalić.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Goran Livazović and Mr Karlo Bojčić presented the information gathered though 25 interviews in the previous three months of research. Through these results, it was possible to draw up a preliminary conclusion about the most and the least problematic professions regarding the non-reporting of delinquent violence. Assoc. Prof. Dr. Goran Livazović expressed that these kind of findings indicate that the issue of the ‘dark figure’ of reporting delinquent violence seems to be more prevalent in nightclubs, rather than in schools or hospitals, as it was previously expected. Assist. Prof. Dr. Ruža Karlović stated how recent findings suggest that the elderly population has the highest risk of being the victims of physical violence in Croatia. This information prompted the expansion of targeted professions to interview regarding the issue of the ‘dark figure’. After this, the Assoc. Prof. Dr. Anna-Maria Getoš Kalac invited the team to working dinner with continuation of discussion regarding the details of conducting the interviews and the possible future implications.

On the following morning, Dr. Vedran Recher presented the results of the ‘case ranking’ in which all the team members participated in prior to the meeting. All the team members had an assignment to rank 30 cases that include different type of violent behaviour from the “most to the least upsetting”. The results highlighted the prevalence of ones’ own moral compass when ranking cases, especially when it comes to ‘understanding why the offender did it’. The aim of this pilot study was to test the hypothesis that when people judge how violent a crime is, they rarely focus on the actual level of violence, but rather on how ‘justifiable’ are offenders actions. Through this brief pilot study, the hypothesis in question was confirmed.

Prompted by this, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Anna-Maria Getoš Kalac opened the discussion on the topic of ‘genuine violence classification system’ by presenting current progress on the matter, as well as the obstacles. As a start, she reminded everybody that the aim of the classification system would be discerning what kind of offences are, in its core, more violent than others are. Only after achieving this, would it be possible to compare this system to one already put in place in the current legal classification, and consequently test its’ accuracy. In accordance to that, she stated how current parameters decided on are the duration of violent act, the level and the duration of victim’s pain, the level of physical resistance the victim is presenting and the severity of the physical injuries. After this, she invited all the members to participate in the discussion and overall brainstorming about other potential parameters. Through the discussion, it became apparent that discerning the classification parameters without succumbing to ones’ own moral definition of which act is more violent is difficult, to say the least. Limited by the time frame, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Getoš Kalac, prompted all the team members to continue an individual brainstorming regarding the matter, and present new ideas at the next team meeting. In the end, project assistant Ms Petra Šprem, gave an overview of project activities, what have CroViMo team members achieved so far, and what yet is to be achieved during the following project phases. In the overview, she emphasized the importance of publishing scientific articles as well as regular attendance and participation in conferences. Assoc. Prof. Dr. Getoš Kalac, officially closed the meeting and thanked all the participants for coming to Split.