...IZ KRUGA – VOJVODINA
Portal of Civil Vojvodina Autonomija, November 25, 2015.
The representative of the Organization …IZ KRUGA – VOJVODINA, Ivana Nikolic, who is engaged in the rights of women with disabilities, said that since the Convention had been ratified, only the provincial government did the first step. It adopted the Program for protecting Women against Domestic Violence for the period 2015-2020.
– We want to forewarn the Government of Serbia and the Ministries that the yearly statistics about femicide show 30 – 40 cases. On the European level, that puts us among countries with the highest number of femicide. That is devastating – said Nikolic.
She added that the worst example this year is Kanjiza, where seven women and two men were killed after violence had been reported to the authorities and they did not react because they treated the accounts as domestic disputes. She highlighted that the data from women’s NGOs show that more than a thousand women and children have to leave their homes and go to safe houses yearly, instead of using the measure eviction of the perpetrator of domestic abuse.
– We insist on putting the eviction of the perpetrator of domestic abuse in use because so far, only seventy eviction sentences a year are being made. This measure is being successfully applied in Germany, Slovenia and Austria, where sometimes up to eight thousand evictions are ordered – says Nikolic.
She added that the problem was in the legal system, i.e. in Serbia just one percent of perpetrators was processed and prosecuted and got higher sentences. They usually get minor penalties and a fine. Additionally, it had burdened the family budget and discouraged women from seeking help because they were worried they would have to pay for their fine.
SOS Vojvodina Network that supports women victims of domestic violence – cautioned today that thirty – three women had been killed since the beginning of the year in Serbia. The number is rising despite the fact the state took an obligation in its prevention.
The representative of the SOS Vojvodina Network, Marija Srdic, said at the press conference that a campaign 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence had been launched to remind the government organs and key ministries that although Serbia had ratified the Convention of the European Council against gender-based violence in 2013. doesn’t apply it.
The representative of the Province Committee for Gender Equality, Marina Njilas, said that the province’s government had changed its focus concerning the subject. The government is now working on the economic empowerment of women from violent families – it is often the main factor enabling women to leave the perpetrator and start an independent life. The province singled out ten million dinars for economic empowerment and cooperation with the Employer’s Union has been established, Marina Njilas explained.
The Employer’s Union has conducted a survey among their members about their knowledge of vulnerable groups they could help, said the president of the Employer’s Union, Stanko Krstin. He added they would work on education in the future.
Six organizations work in the SOS Network Vojvodina, there is a toll-free SOS line for victims 0800 10 10 10. Twenty-five trained women and an additional number of experts provide legal counseling, psychological help and the space for women to find understanding and appropriate support.