Belgrade, 24.11.2020 – On the occasion of marking “16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence”, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Serbia, is launching, for the second time, the campaign “Tiče me se” (“It IS my business”), in order to contribute to creating a society that does not tolerate violence against women. This year, the campaign is aimed at encouraging the broader social environment to provide support to women who face violence in the family or partner relationships.
The campaign #TičeMeSe (It IS my business) directly addresses neighbours, who, often enough, are the first ones to witness that a woman is exposed to violence, even before close friends and family members.
Domestic violence is a serious problem that disproportionately affects women and girls. In Serbia, on average, every 7 to 10 days a woman gets killed in the context of domestic violence.
Fear for their own safety and the safety of their children, economic dependence on their partners, fear of being judged by society, are just some of the reasons why women do not speak about violence and remain in a violent relationship. In the current situation of a global health crisis, measures aimed at preventing the spread of the Covid-19 epidemic may constitute an additional obstacle for women who need to report violence and seek appropriate assistance.
Treating violence as a private problem, that is, staying away from it, may be understood by perpetrators of violence as a recognition of their right to commit acts of violence. That is why it is important for the victims to know that there is someone in their surroundings to whom they may turn for help and support, and to send a message to perpetrators of violence that their behaviour is unacceptable. Domestic violence does not affect only the direct survivors, but also their children, the broader family and the entire community – and so it IS our business.
This year, too, many public figures joined the campaign #TičeMeSe. Through a social media video, they will appeal to neighbours to react to cases of violence and provide support to women in their surroundings. The video is available via this link: https://bit.ly/33fhAaQ.
To help citizens recognise when a woman in their surroundings is exposed to violence and empower them to react, UNDP has prepared an informative poster, which contains essential information on the issue of violence against women, ways of reporting it, and ensuring assistance and support to women and their families. The poster, in printable format, can be downloaded via this link: https://bit.ly/3nUBVtJ.
Even though it often occurs behind closed doors, violence against women is a criminal offence. Anyone who has reason to suspect that violence is being committed may report this to the police by dialling 192 or 0800 100 600 anonymously and free of charge, while the SOS telephone of the Autonomous Women’s Centre: 0800 100 007, is available between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. on weekdays for information and support.
“16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence” is a global campaign marked in over 100 countries of the world. The campaign begins on November 25 - International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and ends on December 10 – Human Rights Day.
Recognising that resolving the problem of violence against women requires systematic and continued efforts, in the past ten years UNDP in Serbia has been implementing programmes aimed at improving legal protection and support of women exposed to violence, along with informing about the unacceptability of violence.