NGO says 45 women murdered in 11 months

BELGRADE -- The coordinator of an NGO dealing with domestic violence says that a large increase has been reported in cases of violence against women with a fatal outcome.

(Tanjug, file)
(Tanjug, file)

''As of November 22 in Serbia 77 persons have been killed in family disputes, of whom 45 women'', Vesna Stanojević said, adding that it was "an enormous number."

The coordinator for the Counseling Center Against Domestic Violence also said that in 2012, 29 women were murdered under similar circumstances.

"The center receives between 3,500 and 4,500 calls from women annually, and that number is the same as last year, and the year before, therefore, the level of violence is the same, but the number of cases with a fatal outcome is much higher. This is a very alarming fact that is not talked about enough," said Stanojević.

State Secretary with Ministry of Labor Brankica Janković said that the data on the number of cases of violence against women for 2013 will be known in early February. '' Then we will have the total number of detected cases of violence," she stated, and then added: "However, we never know the total number of these cases, but the fact is it is always higher than the official numbers."

Janković also said it was "good that a growing number of cases was detected, and that the violence is spoken about openly and no longer kept silent about."

Despite the growing number of women participating in many segments of society - politics, the economy and various activities, Janković warned that women are still discriminated against in many areas, and that perhaps the biggest problem was domestic violence, which she said was not only a consequence of the general decline of social values, poverty and all the problems in our society in the past two decades, but also of "patriarchal traditions."

Women who are victims of violence can find refuge in three safe houses in Belgrade. They can reach help around the clock by calling the phone number 062-30-45-60.

Safe houses also operate in Pančevo, Zrenjanin, Novi Sad, Sombor, Niš, Kragujevac, and Jagodina, while the towns of Valjevo and Šabac have shelters with the same purpose.