/ Vranje, Danas, 15.06.2015 / In 2013, 90 registered cases of domestic violence in the last 98, and by the middle of this year reported 47 cases * From the Basic Prosecutor’s Office and the court in Vranje indicate that „they duly act upon each criminal charges „.
Volunteer team of SOS Phone, the only NGO dealing with domestic violence against women and children in seven municipalities of Pcinja district since the beginning of the year has registered 72 calls of people who reported violence in the family. Among those who have requested assistance were fifteen children under the 18 who have been threatened with domestic violence. Some women have sought help from the Office of the Human Rights Committee as well.
Profiles of abusers are various. Mostly they are alcohol addicts as a consequence of job loss during the transition period that was particularly strong in the area of southern Serbia – explains Miroslava Despotovic. She specifies that the SOS Phone managed to form a Local area network to fight violence (October 2014) through systematic work with few NGOs from Belgrade. Thus include all relevant institutions, primarily police, judicial authorities, centers for social work, as well as representatives of the Shelter for victims of domestic violence that exists in Vranje.
– Call receiving to SOS Phone is forwarding to the police that takes further steps and this cooperation works better. Police within the legal scope takes immediate measures to protect the victim and to file criminal charge to forward the perpetrator to the competent prosecutor’s office. Meanwhile, the representatives of social institutions involve but most often abusers remain without adequate legal penalties what prolongs the process in which the victim is under great risk. In a few cases with fatal outcomes – said Despotovic.
Based on information from the Police Department in Vranje the spiral of domestic violence is increasing from year to year . In 2013, 90 registered cases of domestic violence in the last 98, and by the middle of this year reported 47 cases. It is about 235 crimes involving 230 people mostly men.
Center for Social Work in Vranje has specialized mobile team for cases of domestic violence. According to the director Perica Milosavljevic, submitted 53 criminal charges to the Basic Public Prosecutor’s Office last year. Eight lawsuits submitted to Municipal Court, „to issue protective measures“.
– Service for urgent intervention and relocation of victims of violence in the shelter reduces the risk of endangering the lives of the victims. I can not speak on the effects of measures of criminal-legal protection because processes are in progress – said Milosavljevic.
From the Basic Prosecutor’s Office and the Court in Vranje indicate that „they duly act on any criminal charge” to take measures to „sanction the perpetrator according to legal norms” but do not specify details because „most of the cases are in progress“. There were cases where perpetrators have been put on thirty days police custody by decision of the investigating judge after the hearing on charges .
SOS phone representative resembles an illustrative example of a maze through which are going women from southern Serbia in judicial institutions.
After the violence in family occurred, the couple divorced and minor child given to custody to mother but father kidnapped the child despite the court decision. For the last eighteen years the mother was not able to put in effect the court judgment. Then over the legal team of SOS Phone Vranje complaint addressed to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg in 2008. The court ruled in three months and returned the child to mother with a binding sentence to the State of Serbia of 10,000 euros. Currently SOS Hotline in Vranje has three similar cases to be brought before judges in Strasbourg.
– Statistics is essential but often unregulated and do not reflect the real situation in southern Serbia in recent years where more women murdered with increasing tendency. This is a perennial problem that has acute effects and demands urgent action, and we run into a stupor in the entire chain, where judicial authorities have to work more specifically and efficiently – stating the SOS Hotline in Vranje.
Although the initiator of many actions on prevention and combat domestic violence has no support from the city administration as NGO in this particular area. Despite the fact that it applied in competitions on several occasions, a dime for the SOS telephone from the city budget simply did not come.
REGIONAL SAFE HOUSE UNDER PADLOCK
Although ceremonially opened on the March 20th in the presence of the US Ambassador Michael Kirby and representatives of B92 Fund, the building of regional Safe house for accommodation of women and children victims of domestic violence, it is still closed. The entire project is funded by the US Embassy through the US Army that insist on „the rapid putting of this facility in function „, but this has not happened yet. Unofficial information says that the city of Vranje has no „professional staff to work in this specific object of social protection,“ or „a lack of money for the operation under strictly prescribed rules for objects of such purposes.“ In the meantime, women and children victims of domestic violence are using inadequate premises of the Reception Center, where after a certain time spent have an obligation to participate with funds for room and meals. With all this, building is on the „known address“ and perpetrators come in „unannounced visits“ very often with great risk to endanger the lives of those who have found refuge there.