logo zpnFor a while now we have been confronted by systemic and biased neglect or defamation of our long-term work in the women’s movement in Serbia and with other associations and women’s initiatives where we are active. With clear and unambiguous focus on the status of women and improving women’s status in a society that is burdened and poisoned by violence, corruption, party rule and nepotism, we are raising our voice to condemn the latest case where our fellow colleagues from Women for Peace association from Leskovac have had their rightful status and place in their own city be usurped.

Women for Peace association is one with firm foundations not only in the rich experience of their volunteers and activists, gained by fighting against gender based violence for several decades, but also on the trust they have earned from women in their community. And now their status has been dismissed by simultaneous actions taken by the local self-government, the Center for Social Welfare, and the newly established association whose work is not based on international SOS helpline values and practices. We firmly believe that the establishment of this new SOS helpline for victims of violence in Leskovac – provided by the previously mentioned new Association of Single Parents “Dads and Moms” – was not only reckless and ignorant, but that due to lack of expertize, and lacking and inadequate understanding of the issue it may also potentially be detrimental to victims of domestic violence and violence against women. 

As women’s organizations we are not disputing that other associations may also work against domestic violence, and that they have a right to apply to calls for financing projects, but there is a problem when finances for SOS helplines are allocated to an association whose legal representative is a man who has been convicted for domestic violence in 2016.

Additionally, we give our full support to our colleagues and friends from the Women for Peace organization to fight the libel and attempts to discredit them by local institutions and irrelevant associations.

Women against Violence Network
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