On January 17th regional activists and members of more than 40 non-governmental organizations from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Montenegro called on institutions which are responsible for preventing and combating all forms of violence against women and girls to, starting in 2022, do their jobs responsibly and conscientiously, protect survivors, react urgently, and adequately punish the perpetrators because EVERY MINUTE COUNTS!
Yesterday, another woman and two underage girls were killed by the perpetrator, who, according to the media, was released from prison only a few days before, where he had been serving a sentence related to acts of domestic violence. It could be learned from the media that, in addition to the history of domestic violence, he also had a history of criminal behaviour, that he was once a member of the police, and that ten years ago he threatened the prosecutor with murder by planting a replica bomb in his yard. All of the above are indicators that could have been warning signs of high immediate danger of continuing violence and severe consequences. We ask whether the institutional system has again failed in the assessment of security risks and measures aimed at protection?
The Autonomous Women's Centre expresses solidarity with all women who have spoken publicly this year about their experiences of violence. This year will be remembered as the year of the beginning of the end of women's silence. At the end of the year, numerous women who told their stories on the social network Twitter under #NisamPrijavila(#Didn’t report) reminded us that it is necessary to change the awareness towards understanding the prevalence and consequences of violence against women. Through the authentic confessions of women under #NisamPrijavila, we see that change is necessary in every segment of society because the reasons for not reporting violence are different and each one is equally important.
The Commissioner for the Protection of Equality responded to the Autonomous Women's Centre in reference to its public call to file a lawsuit in her own name and on her own initiative for protection against discrimination, in accordance with her powers (Article 46 of the Law on Prohibition of Discrimination). In her statement, the Commissioner informs about the content of Art. 33, 40, 43 and 46 of the Law on Prohibition of Discrimination, Art. 34 and 40 of the Rules of Procedure of the Commissioner for the Protection of Equality, as well as the criminal offense 317 of the Criminal Code. Judging by the content of the statement, we will have to wait for a long time before the Commissioner files lawsuits for discrimination, in her own name and on her own initiative.