Ending violence against women

Photo: UN Women/Branko Starcevic

A violation of fundamental human rights that has great physical, sexual and psychological consequences, violence against women in Serbia is common, with studies finding that one in two women has experienced violence in the family or in intimate partner relations. Domestic and other types of violence against women prevention, protection, prosecution and referral mechanisms remain weak in Serbia, despite improvements in recent years with the adoption of general and specialized protocols in different sectors. Only until August 2015, 28 women lost their lives in domestic violence.

UN Women in Action in Serbia

We focus on assisting the Government of Serbia to implement the global norms and standards enshrined in its international commitments, most notably the CEDAW Committee Recommendations and the Istanbul Convention.

Together with UNDP and UNICEF, UN Women implements the Joint UN project Integrated Response to Violence against Women in Serbia, funded by the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women in the period 2012-2015. The project has engaged all relevant sectors (social, judicial, police, education, health), actors (government, NGOs, media) at all levels of government (national, provincial and local) to tackle the complex issue of violence against women in the family and in intimate partner relations. It has two pillars: prevention and protection. UN Women has worked under the protection pillar to support government and civil society actors at the Provincial level in the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina to provide high quality and coordinated response to domestic violence. The project established a one-stop shop website with information on services and actions on VAW.

As part of this project, UN Women has supported the Provincial Secretariat for Economy, Employment and Gender Equality to:

  1. Strengthen a coordinated response to domestic violence in 11 Vojvodina municipalities;
  2. Train professionals to enhance their knowledge of gender-based violence issues
  3. Support case conferences, coordinated community action and the Centers for Social Work to improve specialized services to survivors of violence;
  4. Provide technical assistance to civil society organisations;
  5. Develop Vojvodina Province’s new policy framework on ending violence against women;
  6. Write two innovative gender-based violence policy documents, one on the economic empowerment of survivors and the other on the situation of women from marginalized groups;
  7. Ensure that good practices and lessons learned from Vojvodina are shared nationally.

Currently, UN Women supports the implementation of the new Provincial Program on the Protection of Women from Violence in the Family and in Intimate Partner Relations 2015-2020, and the exchange of gender-based violence experiences between different government departments and with other countries.

In Serbia, UN Women is also monitoring the implementation of the project by NGO Association of Women Sandglass (Pescanik) funded by the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women. The project aims at increasing the safety and support to women survivors of family violence in 6 local communities in Central Serbia.