In the first nine months of this year, 3,137 women in Serbia reported they suffered domestic violence, while last year 4,728 women were victims to this specific crime, Biljana Popovic Ivkovic, the Interior Minister State Secretary said.
Addressing the debate “Prevention of Violence Against Women and Trafficking in Women”, held at the International Conference “Women Leaders and Sustainable Development – Truly Equal,” Popovic Ivkovic said the number of reported violence showed the women were “more courageous” and that they trusted the institutions more.
“The majority of victims among women never reported domestic violence, and that’s why everyone who knows about such cases ought to and must report that to the police. I’m sure that that’s the way to reduce the number of victims and that it’s our moral obligation to do that,” she said.
Popovic Ivkovic added that a new Law on Prevention of Domestic Violence stipulated that any case could be reported anonymously to the Ministry’s special hotline – 0800 100 600. Operators are taking phone calls 24 hours a day every day. This year alone, 14 women in Serbia were killed as a result of domestic violence, a non-governmental organization called Autonomous Women’s Centre said, adding that following the murders of women in Pančevo and Novi Sad, it was found out that both the police and the prosecution made mistakes in their procedures relating to these two cases.
Vedrana Lacmanovic, from the Autonomous Women’s Centre, says that the problem lies in the way risk is assessed and the people who are doing the assessment since they either don’t perform a good and accurate analysis or do not impose valid and adequate prevention measures.
Another problem, in your opinion, is the lack of official records that social services can access in the case of emergency and thus properly respond to a call for help.
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