Rapid Response Grants – Urgent Action Fund

Approved – May 2010.

Number of grants: 1

1.      Victimology Society of Serbia, Belgrade
  • RSD: 150.000,00
  • Name of the project: Don’t Let the Victims of Family Violence Be Treated as a Criminals and Violators as Victims!
  • Victimology Society of Serbia (VDS), in cooperation with other women’s NGOs initiated in 2002 the Campaign “The Amnesty for Victims of Violence”. The aim of this campaign was the amnesty for long-term victims of violence who, due to inadequate social response, (at the time domestic violence was not a criminal act), from the victim became prisoners. As a result of this campaign, six women were acquitted or their sentences were shortened. Unfortunately, even today, after 7 years since the Domestic Violence is criminal act, things like institutional discrimination of victims of violence is still happening. Snezana Dimic-Mijailovic in a long time addressed all institutions of the system for protection against domestic violence. In order to end a violent relationship she initiated divorce proceedings. A measure of her protection from domestic violence was pronounced to her husband: restraining approach to family member at some distance, which has repeatedly violated. Currently, a crime of domestic violence against her husband is in the criminal prosecution and the High Court in Belgrade led to criminal prosecution for a crime of domestic violence against her minor son who followed his father’s footsteps and was violent towards his mother, taking the things out of the house and beat her. She found herself in custody after the beating she received from the son, which was preceded by stealing 150 euros from her wallet. Specifically, son has started to strangle her and she threw a bottle to make him stop. Her son then reported her and said that he was threatened with an ax.
  • Victimology Society of Serbia has provided support to this woman for several months last year, when she spent two months in a Safe house, where she had to get away from her violent husband and son. Her husband was beating her for years, even raped her, and for this he spent only 48 hours in custody.
  • It was necessary and time urgent to support this woman in the new situation of discrimination and Victimology Society of Serbia has hired an attorney to represent Snezana at the court. This case shows that the provisions of law relating to the crime of domestic violence are applied arbitrarily, so that the reaction is slow and ineffective against the male perpetrator, and inadequately strict when defenseless victim in defending herself threatens violator, no matter does  in fact she really hurt him or not.
  • The solution of this situation means respecting the rights of victims of domestic violence to appropriate help, support and protection, not punishment. We believe that the support to this woman and informing the public about this case can contribute to an adequate law enforcement and to point on different/unequal treatment and respect for human rights of women and men.