In the last decade, more than 320 women were murdered in domestic or partnership violence in Serbia, but the statistics did not register those women who died from the consequences of long-lasting abuse or whose death was not reported by the media, the Beta news agency reported on Friday.
Vedrana Lacmanovic, from the Autonomous Women Centre, said that at least 30 women were killed in domestic violence every year and that every third abused woman had previously reported violence, while the husbands or partners were usually the perpetrators.
Adding that over 400 children in Serbia were left without mothers in the last eight years due to the femicide, Lacmanovic warned that the children who witnessed violence were not treated as victims and did not get proper support.
“Violence is being minimized, ignored or blurred as the consequence of a family argument, disturbed family relations or verbal conflict,” she said, adding the Ombudsman identified same omissions in 2016 and 2018, what “is a proof that there is no progress in the institutional answer to violence against women.”
Vanja Macanovic, the Centre’s lawyer, said that this year, three out of eight perpetrators were sentenced to 30 or 40 years in prison, but added that the suggested changes to the penal code which would introduce a life imprisonment for the worst crimes, might make judges opt for 20 years in prison instead of the stricter sentences.
Serbia, along with Italy, Spain and Great Britain, has a database on domestic violence offenders based on media reports which are kept by non-governmental organizations, says Vesna Nikolic – Ristanovic, from the Victimology Society.
She warned about the possibility of life imprisonment passed to a victim who killed a bully in his sleep, rather than to perpetrators, adding it was necessary for the people who report cases of domestic violence to state that they are reporting the violence without victim’s consent because otherwise, the victim could be in an even bigger danger.
Serbia’s Government declared May 18th as Memorial Day for female victims of violence.
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