Warning to the public

Commissioner for Protection of Equality Ms Brankica Janković is warning the public that the moct recent act of domestic violence announced in the media, must be the last alarm for competent authorities to react and take all necesarry measures to stop this horrifying phenomenon.

Futhermore, commissioner stresses out that it is unacceptable to report on violence against women in a sensational manner. Instead of protecting victims identity, some media brought out irrelevant facts from the private life of a public figure who was a victim of brutal violence and that way relativized the violence itself. Domestic violence is most definitely not a private issue to be hidden within families and to be ashamed of, and by no means is disclosure of the details of of victims’ private lives in sensational manner, in this occasion indirectly implying that the victim had provoked the violator which creates the impression that violence is justified.

Having in mind this gross violation of the code of ethics of journalists the Commissioner expects prompt reaction of media associations because reporting on domestic violence directly shapes attitudes of citizens in Serbia. This is exactly why the media have key role in forming the public opinion, as they hold responsibility to protect victim with their reporting and to send a clear message that domestic violence is a crime and it must be punished. Commisioner concludes that it is unacceptable to relativize the guilt of the perpatrator with “mitigating” circumstances, such as “he was a nice, hard-working and diligent man,” which happens to be an often example in practice.

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