Combating violence against women – a global task – Sunday

Every day, almost half a million people find themselves in a situation of potential harassment.

A global homicide study cites the fact that more people die each year from the deadly violence of gangs and gun killings due to crime than in all conflicts in the world combined.

Latent violence – which represents only a threat of violence (not the act of violence itself), as well as the concrete, physical one, has a gender dimension. Namely, 95% of the perpetrators of the murders are men against other men. On the other hand, half of the female murder victims knew their killer or were in an intimate and partnership relationship with him. A global homicide study claims that murders of women committed by their intimate partners are rarely spontaneous and random. On the contrary, they represent an extreme act preceded by continuous violence in various forms and which most often begins with the least visible and recognized – psychological violence against women.

The most commonly used definition of psychological violence is given by the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence. According to this Convention, psychological violence is any intentional behavior that, by coercion or threats, seriously violates the psychological integrity of another person. A significant feature of psychological violence is the duration over a long period of time, the frequency of violent patterns that include phenomena such as verbal aggression, threats, intimidation, control, isolation from friends and family, harassment or persecution, insults, humiliation and slander. Unfortunately, for many men, especially young men, some of these phenomena represent generally accepted patterns of behavior and proving their own masculinity.

A particular problem in identifying and prosecuting psychological violence is the specific position of victims belonging to marginalized or particularly vulnerable groups. The OSCE survey on the well-being and safety of women shows that ten percent more women belonging to the minority ethnic community in Serbia are exposed to psychological violence by any partner than at the age of 15, compared to women from the majority population (55%). versus 43%). Reports from organizations of women with disabilities talk about the daily routine of psychological abuse to which women with disabilities are exposed in Serbia: from belittling and insulting, to denial of help and medication, detention, isolation, control and intimidation.

During the past 20 years, a number of laws, protocols and strategies have been passed in Serbia that deal with the prevention of violence against women, most often physical violence. However, it was the Kovid-19 pandemic that pointed to a number of problems in the approach that solves violence against women at the level of consequences, not causes. Significant changes in educational programs are still missing, as well as support systems for victims of psychological violence, especially its new forms: digital violence through social networks.

How to stop the epidemic of violence against women and girls? Where to break the cycle of violence that begins with seemingly “benevolent” sexism and ends with femicide?

Behind us is the celebration of the International Day for Tolerance (November 16), and in front of us is the celebration of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (November 25). These two days connect the causes and consequences of global violence and aggression in which millions of women and children live. Therefore, one of the solutions for the effective fight against gender-based violence against women is to address the causes of violence that lie in hatred, misunderstanding and intolerance towards the other and the different.


Source: Dnevni list Danas by www.danas.rs.

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