Press Release

We’re witnessing the ninth in a series of murders of women since the beginning of the year. On Friday, February 23rd, J.A. (68 years old) was murdered by her sons M.A. (38 years) and D.A. (30 years).

At the beginning of 2017, the institution's response to violence against J.A. was her placement in the receiving station and an initiation of a lawsuit for domestic violence against her son M.A.[1] A few months later, J.A. was, as the media transmitted statements from institutions, by "her own request" returned to live with her violent sons. The frequent violence to which J.A. was exposed (which not only the institutions, but also neighbors of this family were aware of), alcohol dependence, as well as the history of criminal behavior (theft, robbery, drug dealing)[2] were not sufficient for the state authorities to figure out that returning J.A. to the same community, with her sons, could lead to death.

It is every woman's right to decide where and with whom she’ll live, but it’s the duty of institutions to sanction violence and prevent its repetition and escalation. We wonder why this time the reaction of the state went towards the eviction of a woman who was a victim of violence, while the aggressors had the possibility to stay in the household? In addition, in this case of femicide, where violence was reported before the murder, it seems to have resulted in the absence of an assessment of security risks or its inadequate enforcement. These are precisely the reasons why violence is repeated and that it results in this number of murders of women.

It seems that, whenever the state takes a step towards achieving women's human rights, which was done with the adoption of the Law on the Prevention of Domestic Violence, it’s followed with two steps backwards in terms of whether and to what extent women will enjoy those rights which they fought for and which they’re entitled to. Even before the aforementioned Law for situations such as this, there were legal possibilities for announcing protection measures under the Family Law,

[1] 02/28/2018. Blic, Two brothers beat their mother to death.

[2] 02/28/2018. The Serbian telegraph, They killed their mother, then lived for three days beside the corpse.