Information about the tragedy in Kozarska Dubica, where a man killed his ex-wife and then committed suicide, shocked the public. And it is just one of many cases that indicate the need to act systematically and report all forms of violence and torture. In recent days, one of, unfortunately, the most popular hashtags on Twitter is #NisamPrijavila (I didn’t report). Why is it like that?
After Serbian actress Milena Radulovic reported at the beginning of the year that she was raped by the owner of the acting school Miroslav Aleksic when she was a 17-year-old, ”Nisam trazila” (“I didn’t ask for it” page) was created on Facebook, followed by more than 40.000 people in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). After numerous confessions, one of the most popular hashtags on Twitter these days is “I didn’t report”, under which women say why they did not report violence.
Fear, shame, condemnation of society, lack of system support are the main reasons why women rarely report sexual harassment and rape.
“They probably don’t want others to find out, it’s a shame, but generally it’s not a shame or their fault and should definitely be reported.”
“Because they do not have adequate protection, if they report it, they think it will be even worse for them.”
“As a young person. It was all reported. What happened? I wouldn’t talk about it now, but it was the worst thing. “
Two to three women who are victims of sexual abuse call the SOS phone of the “United Women” of Banja Luka every weekbut rarely dare to officially report those cases because it is still taboo in this area. In order to raise awareness in society, United Women has launched a “NO means NO” campaign, which says that there is no reason for inappropriate behavior towards women.
“These taboos lead to the fact that when a woman reports sexual abuse, she goes through a very difficult procedure to prove that it was agreed. We often hear from professionals from the protection system that she has a low neckline or a short skirt, “noted Nada Golubovic, President of the Board of the United Women Foundation.
No cases of sexual harassment have been reported to the BiH Gender Equality Agency.
“Women are still not strong enough to talk openly about this. We have the ‘I didn’t ask for it‘ movement, which started an avalanche where we saw the scale of this phenomenon, “ said Samra Filipovic Hadziabdic, Director of the Agency for Gender Equality of BiH.
Sexual harassment is considered to be any verbal or physically unwanted conduct of a sexual nature aimed at violating dignity, causing fear, and creating a degrading and offensive environment. The sentences for this crime are up to two years, and for rape three to 10 years in prison.