Warning on the occasion of International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

On the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, Commissioner for the Protection of Equality Brankica Janković warned the public about frequent cases of gender based violence that often end tragically – with murder.

The recent case of a woman working for the Ministry of Interior, who was shot and wounded by her husband following repeated incidents of violence who also works for the Ministry of Interior, is another indicator that current approach to violence is not efficient. This case is more serious because the perpetrator is a police officer and the police is one of the key factors in violence prevention.

“I hope that recently adopted Law on Domestic Violence Prevention will be enforced consistently and that it would provide effective victim protection mechanisms,” said the Commissioner.

It is necessary to efficiently prevent tragic outcomes through preemptive action, change of mindset and ingrained value system that puts woman in subjugated and discriminatory position in almost all domains of society, especially family relations. Also, it is necessary that all institutions included in the protection process, from social welfare centers, the police, health institutions, all the way to the prosecutor’s office and courts, work towards preventing system operation failure by insisting on individual accountability.

The media must demonstrate the highest level of responsibility by adhering to the Codex of Journalists when reporting on domestic and intimate partner violence, especially to the provisions that impose protection of privacy and identity, forbid misuse of interviewee’s ignorance related to consequences of publishing private data, but also to respect and protect rights and dignity of victims and their families, concluded the Commissioner.

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