According to media reports, 6 women have been killed by a partner or family member since the beginning of the year. Reading the reports on the last case of the murder in Selakovac near Novi Pazar, angry and sad, we ask ourselves again whether such an outcome could have been avoided?
It could be learned from the media that the perpetrator was prone to violence and that he committed violence not only against the victim, but also against other family members; that he had mental problems and was hospitalized several times; that the victim had filed several charges of domestic violence against him, and that he had been detained several times. Neighbors were not surprised by this outcome either, since everyone around the woman knew that she was a victim of years-long violence.
We ask: were previously reported incidents of violence discussed at the Coordination and Cooperation Group meetings, and how were the security risks assessed in this case? What measures were taken to protect this woman? Were harsher measures applied after the second report of domestic violence? During the submission of subsequent reports, was the security risk of a fatal outcome of the violence reassessed and how was it handled? Were psychiatrists consulted during these safety assessments and what were their assessments regarding the perpetrator's behavior upon discharge from the hospital? How was the principle that victim safety be treated as a priority fulfilled? How many more murders of women should we read about in order for institutions in Serbia to start acting in accordance with legal procedures?
May 18 is approaching - the Day of Remembrance of Women Victims of Violence, which we await again with devastating statistics, and when we will probably witness statements that the state is doing everything to prevent violence against women and its most brutal outcome - femicide. The fact that the woman was killed after seeking help from the competent institutions several times, the fact that there were indicators that could anticipate a fatal outcome of violence, and the fact that all this did not lead to the prevention of her being murdered, is after decades of struggle to prevent and combat domestic violence, defeating. We demand that the actions of the competent institutions in this and all other cases where there were previous reports of violence be monitored immediately, and that it be determined whether there were omissions and penalties. Not a woman less!
On behalf of the Autonomous Women’s Center