Parallel pandemic – protection of women from gender based violence during Covid-19

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On the occasion of marking 16 days of activism against violence against women, Ivana Zelic, coordinator of the SOS service of the organization …IZ KRUGA – VOJVODINA, participated in the online round table Parallel pandemic – protection of women from gender-based violence during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The round table was organized by the Initiative for Equality, Innovation and Social Engagement (IRIDA), on Thursday, December 10, starting at 12 pm, via the Zoom application. Representatives of institutions, civil society organizations and the local community participated, in order to initiate a dialogue on gender-based violence during the Covid-19 virus pandemic and the women’s protection system, especially in less developed urban and suburban settlements.

The response to gender-based violence in the conditions of the isolation at home, experiences, data of institutions and organizations on the degree and increase of violence during the pandemic and the approach of the women’s protection system were discussed by:

  • Nada Padejski Sekerovic – psychologist, manager of the Safe Women’s House, Center for Social Work, Novi Sad
  • Ivana Peric – coordinator of the SOS Women’s Center
  • Ivana Zelic – coordinator of the SOS service …IZ KRUGA – VOJVODINA
  • Aleksandra Grujic – coordinator for youth work, IRIDA

The discussion was moderated by Marija Maric, journalist and co-founder of mOUTh of the BOKS and Diary of an entrepreneur.

With this event, Irida announces the beginning of the second phase of the campaign within the project Violence is always isolation. In the first phase, the campaign aimed to increase the visibility of SOS contacts of support organizations …IZ KRUGA – VOJVODINA and SOS Women’s Center.

The campaign was very successful, which is confirmed by the increased number of calls to the SOS hotline. The number of calls during the campaign was three times higher than in the same period last year. In this way, we informed women who are in a situation of violence about the sources of support and sent a message that they are not alone – says Ivana Zelic.

Photo: IRIDA

The continuation of the campaign will be realized online and by direct action in the local community, but this time in less developed parts of the city (Klisa, Adice, Telep). Given that these are communities in which mostly citizens of lower socio-economic and educational status live, the rate of gender-based violence is higher in them. The campaign will also be conducted in suburban violence (Sremska Kamenica, Sremski Karlovci, Veternik, Futog and Petrovaradin), bearing in mind that information and SOS support services for women in these settlements are less accessible.

The main recommendation and conclusion from the round table is the necessity of creating systemic support that continuously monitors all phases of overcoming the situation of violence. The great response of institutions, organizations, citizens, confirms the need for joint involvement and action in solving this problem, during the pandemic and after it.

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