B92 Fund warns about gender-based violence

BELGRADE -- 21 women have been murdered in the first ten months of this year in gender based violence - a significant decline compared to the same period last year.

However, the B92 Fund said in a statement, additional efforts have to be made on the part of the society on the whole, especially of the executive authorities, for this trend to be maintained and violence decreased

After the especially alarming 2013, in which femicide crimes had taken away 46 lives, it is necessary that the fall in the number of killings becomes a long term trend in order to able to come up with far-reaching conclusions, the Fund said in on the occasion of International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and 16 days of activism against gender based violence (November 25 – December 10).

In the recent period, a series of organizations that deal with violence against women such as Autonomous Women Center or Counseling Center against family violence had continued with investing great efforts into changing social stand towards this phenomenon, in order to fight strongly for the change of systematic attitude towards violence, as well as to offer any kind of assistance to the most vulnerable.

The B92 Fund deals since 2006 with the issue of family violence as part of one of the most serious problems of Serbian society, through media campaigns as well as through the particular campaigns of strengthening the position of women that were victims of violence or are at risk of suffering violence.

The video “One photo per day in the worst year of my life” shot in the spring 2013, has received more than 35 million views in YouTube. In the course of this period, apart from obvious indicators of its impact, it was mentioned on numerous occasions by some influential public personalities, as an example of the responsible campaign for social change, including rappers Wu Tang Clan or an actor Ashton Kutcher, while B92 Fund was approached by numerous organizations worldwide with the request to use this video as the main carrier of their local campaigns fighting violence against women.

Apart from this video, B92 Fund had launched Safe houses website (www.sigurnakuca.net) as a local internet hub where you can get all information pertaining to the procedure in case of being faced with violence, no matter whether you are the victim or the witness. Besides up-to-date news and information on all organizations that deal with taking care of the victims, this website is equipped with the new UNDP data base that deals with femicide in Serbia. This website had more than 20.000 female visitors, asking for help or information on family violence, while its pages were frequented for more than 50.000 times.

During the spring 2014, B92 Fund had commenced the project entitled “Women Strengthening” that is carried out in the Safe house of West Bačka District in Sombor where Safe house facility was released in 2011. This innovative project deals with education of the women victims of violence, preparing them for economic entrepreneurship based on the organic agriculture, with the aim of enabling as many as possible number of those women to gain economic independence in their new lives. One of the activities of this program is establishing social company within Safe house based in Sombor that will deal with the greenhouse production of herbs and vegetables.

The B92 Fund is currently engaged in the projects of constructing two new objects designed for housing the victims of violence. Safe house in Vranje that should cover the Pčin District, which is being financed by the U.S. Armed Forces, is reaching final stage of construction and its opening is expected very soon. The works on constructing Safe house in Srem District had been launched recently in Sremska Mitrovica. Both of these objects still look for financial assistance and donors willing to help in furnishing those houses, including providing household appliances and ongoing supplies, so we encourage you to get in touch with us if you or your company is in a position to join us in this particular project.

At this moment, the B92 Fund also plans to start building another Safe house in Kikinda in the near future, intended for the victims of violence from West Banat District. With construction of this facility, the overall territory of Vojvodina will be covered with the network of Safe houses and will thus become the very first territory in this area where the initiative for providing this basic form of women protection in the most critical period, immediately after the violence had taken place, is implemented. B92 Fund calls all organizations, state institutions and companies interested in taking part in the construction of this facility to get in touch with us.

Since 2006, when the B92 Fund had commenced the campaign for the construction of safe houses all over Serbia within which the facilities were built in Belgrade, Pančevo, Sombor and Zrenjanin, important part of our coalition for fighting violence against women comprised more than a hundred companies that donated money, construction material, furniture and equipment, and demonstrated their consciousness on the importance of fighting against this dangerous social deviation that continues to take human lives. We believe that we will jointly continue this fight in future, until the final victory.