Contract signed to build Safe House in Vojvodina town
A contract to build a safe house for the victims of violence in Sremska Mitrovica has been signed between the Government of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina and the B92 Fund – a donation worth RSD 5.5 millionSource:
In the presence of the President of Provincial Government Dr Bojan Pajtic, contract on donation of the government amounting to RSD 5.5 million was signed today, designed for the finalization of the works and furnishing Safe house of the Srem District. Construction works on this object are underway, and its opening is expected for the end of September 2015. The contract was signed by Vice President of the Provincial Government and Provincial Secretary for economy, employment and gender equality Miroslav Vasin and president of the Board of Directors of B92 Fund Veran Matic.
Construction work on this facility commenced with the donation of RSD 14.2 million that was provided in 2014 by the Public Prosecutor’s Office of Sremska Mitrovica. This safe house will be 300 square meters large, and it will have capacity for providing shelter for 20 women and children, victims of violence, from the city municipalities of Sid, Indjija, Sremska Mitrovica, Irig, Ruma, Stara Pazova and Pecinci. With construction of this object, Srem District will become the fifth district in Vojvodina with such facility, out of which, B92 Fund and Provincial Government had jointly as partners built three objects: in Zrenjanin, Sombor and Pancevo, and these objects are being functional for several years now.
Faced with the growth of family violence, there is no other direction that state bodies should take, as well as civil society organizations, but to strengthen fighting this terrifying trend. 27 fatal cases since the start of 2015 show that the road to accomplishing this goal is rather long: zero tolerance to violence in Serbian society. With the necessity of strengthening systemic reaction and encouraging cooperation between police, prosecutor’s office, judiciary and center for social work, as well as NGOs that deal with this issue, the construction of the network of safe houses on the provincial and national level is one of the necessary measures to be taken with the aim of urgent protection of the assaulted women, or those who are at risk of facing with violence.
B92 Fund had so far participated in the construction of six safe houses on the territory of Serbia, while apart from this one in Sremska Mitrovica, another one is being envisaged to be constructed in Svilajnac.
On the occasion of signing the contract, President of the Board of Directors of B92 Fund Veran Matic stated: “Only with creating partnership such as this, between the Autonomous Government of Vojvodina, Local Government of Sremska Mitrovica, Prosecutor’s Office and B92 Fund, it is possible to make serious breakthroughs in building institutions in accordance with European standards, such as this ‘Srem Safe House’, around which preventive activities against family violence will be conducted. We will strive to implement the examples of good practice all over Serbia, as we had already implemented in the Safe house in Sombor. Namely, in this safe house, women are being trained to launch business on their own. The crucial thing lies in the prevention, but also in providing existence, and the decision of the provincial government to compensate annual salary to the company which offers employment to a woman victim of family violence is very commendable".
“Every third woman in Serbia is the victim of family violence, while 27 women got killed since the start of this year. Therefore, we continue with this campaign that we launched together with B92 Fund several years ago, and that is making a network of safe houses all over Vojvodina", Bojan Pajtic, Prime Minister of Vojvodina stated. “However, we will not settle only with healing the consequences, we want to deal with the causes, and that is why we trained three thousand women and men in Vojvodina who work in the police, prosecutor’s office, health and educational institutions. We had introduced them into a program which is unique in Europe, through which Government of Vojvodina finances one annual salary to women, victims of violence, who left their home and found shelter in Safe house. We are going to finance annual salary to the employer who is willing to offer full time employment to women, victims of violence. This is a very important segment, as it is not enough only to get away from the abuser, but also to secure existence to those women", Pajtic concluded.
For the time being, B92 Fund carries out pilot program in the Safe house in Sombor called “SHE-empowerment”, which is focused on empowerment of women survivors of violence toward employment and self-employment through the provision of new service of educational and mentoring program in Safe Houses. This is the final missing link in current institutional response to female survivors in Serbia — providing women with economic empowerment along with currently provided physical and psychological help, thus making that help more effective.
It is planned to carry out similar activities in other safe houses throughout Vojvodina.