The 2018 Autonomous Women’s Center (AWC) research on the experiences and perceptions of youth on sexual harassment, shows data that every third young woman in Serbia has experienced unwanted physical contact, and that 80% of young women have experienced some form of sexual harassment. The issue of sexual violence is systemic – not a rare, individual occurrence.
We call on all state institutions, particularly educational ones, as well as the Prosecutor’s office and the relevant courts, to address this case responsibly and professionally, and we call on the media to respect the dignity and privacy of each victim in their coverage, steering clear of sensationalism and relativism which is retraumatizing for victims. We are especially concerned by the caricature created by Dušan Petričić, published in the new edition of the weekly newsmagazine NIN, due to its sexist and racist relativization of the experiences of women survivors of sexual violence.
This case reminds us that sexual violence is a serious issue which must be dealt with daily, that we must listen to the experiences of all women and girls who have survived this type of violence, that we must offer our unconditional support and encouragement to women who have survived sexual violence to report the abuse to the relevant insitutions.
You can report instances of sexual violence on the following telephone lines:
SOS line AWC: 0800 100 007
National SOS line for women experiencing violence: 0800 222 003