Safe house to be built in Pančevo

PANČEVO -- A foundation-laying ceremony was held in Pančevo, thus marking the beginning of a safe house construction in this city.

Pančevo safe house (B92)
Pančevo safe house (B92)

The safe house-to-be in Pančevo will offer protection to women, victims of domestic violence in the South Banat district, providing adequate and secure accommodation at about 270 square meters.

The Pančevo safe house will provide accommodation for approximately 25 persons, who have until now been sheltered either in the hotels, foster care or Belgrade safe houses.

Half of the funds necessary for building the Pančevo safe house is provided by the provincial government from the United Nations Fund.

Prior to laying the foundation stone, a donation contract was signed between B92 and Serbian Oil Industry (NIS).

Mayor of Pančevo Vesna Martinović expressed her deepest gratitude to provincial Prime Minister Bojan Pajtić and the government of Vojvodina, as well as the B92 Fund for recognizing Pančevo as a city in which to invest and showing the way of solving the problems efficiently.

"Accommodation and the provision of basic living conditions is the first step in giving another chance to the victims of domestic violence and a message they are not left alone, without care", said the mayor.

With 400 women who have sought assistance in the Welfare Office and more than 200 felonies of domestic violence last year, Pančevo takes the infamous third place in Serbia.

Provincial PM Bojan Pajtić said that the violence from sport fields and streets found its way to the family life too often and that "it is very worrying that every third woman in Serbia is a victim of domestic violence.”

The contribution of NIS, in the amount of 7mln RSD, was a key factor in raising the funds to build the safe house in Pančevo.

Chairman of the Board of B92 Veran Matić said the construction of safe houses "generated a great societal relief when it comes to this, until recently a taboo topic in Serbia."

"Since we began building shelters, the problem of domestic violence is more frequently discussed, in a way that is more serious and open. Women who experienced the violence are more vocal in their demands to have their rights protected, " Veran Matić concluded.