Stop Violence against Women

Commissioner for the Protection of Equality Brankica Janković visited Čačak and spoke at the press conference which was organized as one of the activities on the occasion of „16 days of activism against violence“ by Civil association Laris and local authorities of Čačak Municipality.

At the meeting with Mayor of Čačak Milun Todorović, Deputy Mayor Radoš Pavlović, Assistant Mayor Mirjana Đoković and Secretary of City Council Miroslav Petković, Commissioner Janković spoke about causes of discrimination, its detection and responses, but also about preemptive action. It was agreed to focus on these issues in the upcoming period and to organize training for all employees working in the public administration.

Commissioner Janković said that there was a growing number of domestic and intimate partner violence incidents which she substantiated with statistical data provided by the Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia. This data shows that as many as 18.746 incidents were reported last year involving adults, children, youth and elderly.

“I fear, that even after an efficient protection system has been established, and I do hope that the new Law on Domestic Violence Prevention will yield results, the underlying causes of domestic violence will remain, namely deeply rooted gender based bias. We still live in a value system fraught with prejudices and stereotypes that place women in a subjugated and humiliating position. All of us, from state institutions with jurisdiction to combat discrimination, civil society  organizations all the way to each individual citizen, have to work towards altering this cultural pattern that is based on the idea that a women is an object and that she plays a passive role in all segments of society.

Commissioner Janković said that violence is a fundamental problem, even more so than the poverty, because there is nothing worse than a situation in which you are trembling with fear in your own home. She said that home is not always a safe haven for many women, something they were taught to believe in their childhood, as some of them end up being killed in their very home.

Goals of this important campaign “Stop the violence” initiated by association Laris from Čačak are to raise awareness about domestic violence and to stress importance of a coordinated response model in every single case of reported violence, something that is envisaged by amendments to the Law. Other speakers at the conference included Goran Javorac, expert from Čačak Social Welfare Center, Aleksandar Risimović, independant police inspector of Čačak Police Department and Ljiljana Petrović from association Laris from Čačak.

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