For Mirzeta Tomljanovic from Bijeljina, this is the month of being on call at the SOS line 1264 for reporting domestic violence in Republika Srpska (RS).
“Sometimes, unfortunately, people do not recognize all forms of violence. In our country, there is still a rule that one slap is not violence. However, it starts with the first slap. Then it just continues in a much crueler form. This latest case in Gradacac showed the cruelty of domestic violence,” says Mirzeta.
What happens when a woman calls the SOS number?
According to Mirzeta, someone is always available at the SOS line for reporting violence. Besides her, a psychologist and a sociologist work in shifts.
What happens when they get a call? Mirzeta explains that everything depends on the current needs of the victim.
“If it is a victim who is currently suffering violence, then only the most basic information is taken from her. Name, surname, and address. The police are called immediately and informed that violence is taking place at that address,” explains Mirzeta.
During the further process, they inform the police, who go to the field as soon as possible and take information about what happened. Based on the appearance of the victim, the apartment, and other things, they can understand that something happened, she explains. The victim and the abuser are questioned separately and then certain measures are taken.
‘Years of violence before they call’
Mirzeta states that their experience is that women usually suffer years of violence before deciding to seek help. In this case, physical violence dominates.
“A woman never calls after the first beatings, slaps, or insults, rather it is an accumulated process that constantly causes a feeling of fear in her, that she will not be understood, how it will be understood because she reported him. There are many of our prejudices that prevent her from taking that step,” Radio Slobodna Evropa reports.