B92 Fund launches campaign against domestic violence

The B92 Fund and Saatchi & Saatchi have made a video dubbed “A photograph a day in the worst year of my life” as a part of a campaign against domestic violence.

Source: B92
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After learning about alarming domestic violence statistics in Serbia, the B92 Fund has decided to react and snap the public out of somewhat lethargic state and draw its attention to our society’s big issue.

11 women and two children, aged six and two, lost their lives in domestic violence in the first two months of 2013 while 29 women were killed in domestic violence in 2012.

In cooperation with Saatchi & Saatchi, the B92 Fund made the video in which an abused young woman calls for help. The video was posted on YouTube and it went viral on social networking sites and drew a lot of attention of the media.

Direct Media PR also helped make and distribute the video. The same team that took part in the Battle for Babies campaign launched the campaign against domestic violence. ipyro "Word of Mouth platform" also joined the team in the creation of the video.

“The campaign was directly initiated by a shocking and devastating increase in femicide since the beginning of the year, only 30 to 60 days after the ‘month against violence against women’ in November. Our intention is to call on everybody to fight – on women not to take the violence and demand their rights by reporting violence and to therefore pressure the system, family members including children and youth to support them, on citizens and witnesses of violence to join them, civil organizations to be even more decisive and efficient, and we primarily want to exert pressure on those who the solving of the issue depends on - the police, judiciary and prosecution and the ministry,” B92 Fund Board of Directors President Veran Matić has said.

“Aside from the media campaign, we will continue to strengthen institutions and organizations and we will help build two more safe houses soon. The idea is to show that every hesitation to report the case can lead to a fatal outcome because violence progresses in time. We must not wait until tomorrow but react immediately,” he added.

Matić stressed that 3,965 women requested help from the Safe Women’s House in 2012 and that 268 women and 242 children had found refuge there.

“The fact that media in Canada, France, Italy and the entire region reported about the video shows that this problem is not only present in our country. In just two days we made such an effect that almost the entire world wanted to see who the girl from the video was,” the B92 Fund Board of Directors president explained.

Mia Hujić, who played the abused girl in the video, says she decided to help the campaign because she had friends who had faced domestic violence.

“I had an opportunity to present those people, women and men, and to start something, even if it was only a video. It does not matter if it was my face or a face of a woman who was really beaten but had not strength to show it, because who would want to show up beaten in front of a camera. This is a very sensitive issue, I have invested a lot in this and I hope that such a reaction of the people, which is extraordinary – three million in just five or six days, will remain after the statement that this is a campaign for chances, big changes,” Hujić said.

Direct Media PR’s Marija Grulović says the company tried to contribute to the raising the awareness of the public and that this was the reason they joined the campaign.

“The video’s content was promising that it would be viewed and that it would cause strong reactions in our countries and we would consider it success if we had 50,000 views. However, we reached one million views in just two days and now we have more than 3.5 million views and around 5,000 comments. People who have experienced domestic violence are coming forward, giving advice, telling their stories as well as those who recognized that it was a campaign but that it is not important that the video is fake but that a message that videos showing consequences of abuse, that look much worse in real life, is important,” she stressed.

Grulović added that ipyro had helped spread the video on the social networking sites which caused media such as the Huffington Post, Daily Mail and RAI to pay attention to it.

The B92 wishes to thank all those who offered to help and calls on the entire community not to turn a blind eye before the problem and to stand up to domestic violence.

According to the UN Development Program and Labor, Employment and Social Policy Ministry’s research, 54 percent of women in Serbia have experienced some form of domestic violence and 38 women are subjected to domestic violence at the moment.

Women against Violence NGO network monitors media reports and makes an analysis of femicide in Serbia every year. According to a definition, femicide is the killing of women by men just because they are female. 28 women were murdered by their partners, husbands or ex-husbands last year.

According to the Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia (RZS), women are most exposed to violence in their own homes while men are potentially most threatened outside homes.

Women are victims in 95 percent of reported domestic violence cases in Serbia. One should bear in mind that in cases in which victims are male, the perpetrator is not necessarily a woman but male relatives – sons, fathers, uncles etc.

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