The Autonomous Women's Centre extends its sincerest condolences to the family and friends of the young influencer Kristina Kika Đukić. As an organization that protects women's human rights and women from violence, we are deeply shocked by the news that, according to the media, 21-year-old Kika committed suicide after many years of enduring violence in the digital space.
We remind the public that one in two high school girls has experienced some form of sexual commentary online, and that the most common feeling that digital violence arouses in young girls is a feeling of fear and helplessness (I can choose to say NO, 2020).
In this case, we have all failed - as individuals, as a society, as institutions. The violence that this young woman was going through took place in public, in front of everyone's eyes, and yet we did not do enough to stop it and give Kristina the opportunity to heal. We cannot know whether digital violence directly influenced her decision, but we are sure that it significantly affected her psycho-physical health.
Now it remains to support other young girls, many of whom have followed and loved Kika and many who are just as exposed as she is. It is necessary to strengthen their self-esteem, to remind them that they matter and deserve a life without violence. We also need to talk to boys and boys, to see the inadmissibility of commenting on photos of girls with insulting and derogatory words and allusions to sexual violence.
We ask the institutions to assess the responsibility of Bogdan Ilić (Grandma Piglet), who encouraged his armies of companions, mostly minors, with his hate speech directed towards Kristina as a woman.
At the same time, we remind all educational and health institutions, social welfare centres, police, prosecutor's office and the media that digital violence must be responded to and sanctioned. It is the responsibility of all of us not to allow any girl or young girl to feel the way Kika felt ever again.
Autonomous Women's Centre