YouTube video sparks debate on domestic violence

A shocking video showing photographs of an abused young woman and her call for help has spread across social networking sites in Serbia and the region.

Source: B92

The video posted by “fero0611982” has sparked debates about domestic violence and victims, as well as about the authenticity of the video.

The video dubbed “A photograph a day in the worst year of my life” shows 365 pictures of the woman – she is smiling in the first several photos but she has bruises, hematomas, horrible injuries and strangulation marks in the rest of them.

At the end of the video, the woman is holding up a paper saying “Help me. I do not know if I will make it until tomorrow”. In the description line, the woman wrote “The year I was abused. Please help me”.

All attempts to contact the person who uploaded the video have been unsuccessful. Some say that the video is a part of a campaign against violence against women.

The video’s authenticity could not be confirmed by organizations for the help of domestic violence victims either.

The video has so far been commented by YouTube users from Serbia and the region, Great Britain, Canada, Spain, the U.S.

Alarming domestic violence statistics in Serbia

Alarming data about domestic violence in Serbia in 2013 have recently been released. 11 women and two children were killed in domestic violence in January and February.

If the violent trend continues, 2013 could see twice as many victims of domestic violence than previous years.

29 persons were killed in domestic violence in Serbia last year and 42 women who found refuge in safe houses stated that they would have been killed if they had not escaped.

“3,964 women asked for help of the Domestic Violence Help Center last year. In 2011, we had 5,440 women who sought help,” said the Center’s Director Vesna Stanojević and pointed out that the majority of abused women came from poor parts of the country but that there were exceptions.

Domestic violence victims who turn to the Domestic Violence Help Center are sent to safe houses. Belgrade has three safe houses that can take up to 25 persons. 36 women and 32 children have been placed in safe houses since the beginning of the year.

Pančevo, Novi Sad, Zrenjanin, Sombor, Smederevo, Kragujevac, Valjevo and Šabac also have safe houses.

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