Deputy Protector of Citizens for Gender Equality, Jelena Stojanovic, stated today that in the fight against sexual and any other violence against women, it is necessary to work on raising public awareness about gender equality and adopting measures for improving the position of victims of violence, primarily for their economic empowerment.
"In Serbia, it is necessary to raise awareness about various types of violence, as well as about zero tolerance for violence, which is why the Protector of Citizens in his annual reports reiterates the recommendation that the Government of Serbia should continuously implement measures and activities dedicated to raising public awareness of gender equality and measures for improving the position of women", said Stojanovic.
At the conference "Combating sexual violence against women – enhancing the legal framework and procedures", organized by the Coordination Body for Gender Equality of the Government of the Republic of Serbia, the Ministry of Justice and the international organization "UNWomen", the Deputy Protector of Citizens said that a very small number of victims of sexual violence addresses the Protector of Citizens and that the largest number of complaints received by this institution relates to physical, psychological and economic violence against women.
"One of the great successes of the Protector of Citizens is that our proposal to provide victims of domestic violence with a free examination by forensic doctors is included in the proposal of the Strategy for preventing and combating gender-based violence against women and domestic violence for the period 2021-2025. In this way, a more efficient criminal procedure will be ensured, as well as certainty of punishing the perpetrator of violence, avoiding secondary victimization of the victim in court proceedings and lower costs of court proceedings", said Stojanovic.
Equally important is the economic empowerment of a woman victim of violence so that she has the opportunity, after experiencing trauma, to leave the perpetrator and lead an independent life. Not being able to do so, a large number of victims of violence return to that vicious circle of violence, said Stojanovic.