On Friday, December 15th, another woman who had previously contacted the relevant aid institutions was killed by a partner in Serbia. Two days before she was killed, J.G. (37), according to the media, she reported her husband V.G. (37) for domestic violence to the police. The social care center was also informed of the violence she suffered, as the media reported.

In the reporting of certain media, there is a notable misunderstanding of the phenomenon of violence against women, because they imply that the victim manipulates via the application for violence and threatens to take the son and the house away from the abuser and put him in prison, while he is presented as a caring father who wants to preserve his family. Had the representatives of the relevant institutions (police and social work centers) who J.G. spoke to, in addition to some media, also doubt the authenticity of her application? Why had it taken two days to respond to the violence application she submitted? Had a risk assessment been carried out and how had it been handled? Why wasn’t protection provided for J.G. when, fearing for her life, she came to report the violence for the second time, only an hour before she was killed?

Year after year, the number of women killed does not decrease, and neither does the number of women who were killed, although having previously addressed the relevant protection institutions. These killings are images of the defeat of the state and institutions of the system to believe in the statements of women who experience violence and to provide them with support. The essence of opposing violence against women is the belief in the testimony of a woman and her experience of surviving violence. Act before the crime, not afterwards!

On behalf of the Women against Violence Network
Aleksandra Nestorov and Vedrana Lacmanović