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The Women against violence network is inviting citizens to join the support and solidarity rally for Marija Lukić and all the women who have experienced sexual violence
Friday 5h of March 2020

in Kruševac in front of the Basic court building at 10.45am

For Friday the 6th of March 2020., a trial has been scheduled in the Basic court in Krševac, State of Serbia VS Milutin Jeličić, the former president of Brus, for the criminal charges of sexual harassment and abusing his position of authority. The accuser being Marija Lukić, however six more women from Brus filed the same charges against him, only to be dismissed as unfounded.

As fellow citizens an activists, we are very interested in the course and outcome of this trial. We have attended every trial proceeding in the court room, accompanied by activists from NGO Women in black and Don’t drown Belgrade initiative. We believe that our presence in the court room is important concerning not only the transparency of the trial, but for the support we are showing Marija Lukić and all the women that have suffered any form of sexual violence as well. In this way, we are also letting them know, they are not alone and that justice for them exists, regardless how out of reach it might seem. 

Women who dare report sexual violence and their abuser, are often subjected to gender stereotypes, verbal attacks and blamed for being at fault for the violence that happened to them, as well as court proceedings that last too long. It’s important to mention that because we are showing support for Marija and other women who have experienced violence, in front and inside the Court, were also subjected to insults of supporters and political party colleagues of the accused, and that none of the officials nor the police who patrolled the rally, reacted against such behavior.

Following the next trial, Friday March 6th , the Women against violence network once again shows support for Marija Lukić and all the women who have experienced sexual violence. We invite the Court to judge lawfully and unbiased. We ask the State of Serbia to show “obligatory attention,” to the issue of violence against women, that the State committed to by ratification of the Istanbul Convention, and adequately protect women and children survivors of violence. We demand enabling the continuous work of raising awareness to the public, including institutional representatives and service providers, concerning different forms of violence, with a special focus on sexual violence against women and children.  

We invite the citizens of Serbia to join us and condemn violence against women, at the rally in Kruševac, in other public places, on social media, everywhere and always!