Violence against Women and Children in Bosnia escalated during Curfew

The number of calls and reports of violence against women and children during the coronavirus pandemic increased by as much as 30 percent compared to 2019, and escalated considerably during curfew, said Natasa Kurtuma, head of the office at the Lara Foundation in Bijeljina.

Kurtuma explained that during the curfew, when restricted movement and violence escalated, women were imprisoned with bullies for longer.

She explained that the reports did not arrive intensively at the beginning of the pandemic, but after the abolition of curfew, and problems arose because some institutions did not work or had limited working hours, so they only received reports that they estimated were the most urgent.

“The victims then contacted us more, often via Facebook pages, Viber, email, phone because the victims were not able to come to the office in person,” said Kurtuma.

According to her, psychological and physical violence, as well as economic violence, continue to be recorded as forms of violence.

“The economic situation in most families deteriorated during the pandemic, which contributed to an increased incidence of violence,” Kurtuma said.

She noted that the Safe House and the Lara Foundation had been working throughout the pandemic and that, fortunately, none of them had tested positive for coronavirus, Srna news agency writes.

Since October 2000, the Foundation for Local Democracy has run the only Safe House – Shelter for Women and Children Victims of Domestic Violence in the Sarajevo Canton. The capacity of the Shelter is 35 people, and 2,098 victims of violence have been taken care of.

The number of victims of violence in family houses has increased by some 30% and the number of calls to our SOS line during the pandemic and isolation has tripled, Mubera Hodžic Lemes told BHRT. 

The main goal of the Shelter’s work is to provide physical protection and safety to victims, as well as psychosocial treatment in order to overcome traumatic experiences and reintegrate into the community. 


You need to report the violence to the competent police, the center for social work or call us on the number 033 222 000. Unique four-digit number: FBiH 1265 and 1264 for RS 

Since 2002, the Shelter for Girls Victims of Sexual Violence, Incest, Rape, Domestic Violence and Other Forms of Violence has been launched within the Safe House. The shelter has a capacity for 10 girls aged 12 and over, citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The primary goal of the Shelter is to provide direct protection to girls, psychotherapeutic treatment for the purpose of rehabilitation and resocialization (continuing schooling, detraumatization and overcoming traumatic experiences, reintegration into social life).

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