Violence against women still a problem in Montenegrin society

Youth Group of the Centre for Civic Education (YGCCE), uses of the opportunity of marking the International Day Against Violence Against Women to invite competent institutions to consider the results of the application of laws and protocols that regulate the area of domestic violence and Strategy for protection against domestic violence 2011-2015, as well as to undertake urgent measures to ensure their effective implementation in practice in order to violence against women move from the group of the most common forms of human rights violations.

UN data suggests that 40% of women in the world are beaten and forced to have sexual intercourse or experienced some sort of abuse and that abuser is usually a man from their surroundings. Violence against women is widespread around the world and does not recognize boundaries, race, class, culture, tradition or religion. A research in Montenegro indicates that women are predominantly present among the victims of violence.

Decision makers in Montenegro are not sensitive enough to advocate, through their work, women’s rights and efficiently fight against violence against women, which is noted in the last EC progress report for Montenegro. Discrimination based on sex, misogyny and light efforts on improving the rights of women and achieving gender equality are firmly grounded in the patriarchal and traditionalist relation to woman and it’s difficult to change despite a solid the legislative framework. In addition, we are very often witnesses of campaigns which some of the media, in the most brutal way, use in attempts to discredit reputation and dignity of women working in the public area, trampling all ethical standards in journalism, and with the obvious intention to disparage her public engagement and degrade women and their achievements in the professional sphere, but also as a person.

Its results with the fact that, according to surveys, more than 70% of respondents agrees with statement that the main role of women in society is to be a good wife and mother, and every fourth respondent (male) declares that violence towards women is justified in certain situations as well as that for the violence that is happening to her is women’s fault because she is unable to leave the abuser and violence is caused by their behavior. This creates a social climate in which violence against a woman is acceptable, while decision makers unwillingly support the efforts of civil society, and above all, women’s organizations, to change this. Mild penal policy in cases of domestic violence, which is our practice, sends a bad message that this violence is legitimate and socially acceptable. It’s concerning the fact that criminal charges are often rejected for lack of evidence a victim, because of mistrust towards institutions and fear, rarely reports violence. Those women who are victims of violence do not receive adequate psychosocial support and legal assistance in institutions of social and health care, as well as their children who often together with them going through hell of domestic violence.

CCE Youth Group believes that we must make greater efforts to create conditions for the establishment of new mechanisms of support for women victims of violence, more effective cooperation institutions and NGOs dealing with the issue of violence against women for sustainability programs aimed at raising public awareness about the problem of women victims of violence, but also about the rights of women in general. Montenegro is a signatory of Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating domestic violence and violence against women (Istanbul Convention), which is the first legally binding international document that provides comprehensive protection of women against violence and domestic violence. Therefore, ensuring its immediate implementation in practice was of great importance for solving this problem in our society, which would particularly improve the image of Montenegro in the EU accession process.

The UN in 1999 are officially recognized November 25 as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

Miloš Knežević
Youth group coordinator