Survey on the prevalence of gender-based violence against female sex workers in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Authors/editor(s): Uliana Bakh, Samir Ibisevic

The purpose of this research is to provide information that will contribute to the development of strategies and interventions directed toward preventing gender‐based violence against sex workers and which will facilitate the providing of post‐violence support to sex workers who have suffered such violence. The research aimed to estimate prevalence and the most common perpetrators of violence against sex workers. One hundred respondents from Sarajevo and Zenica were located and interviewed using the “snowball” technique. The interviewers were representatives of the sex worker population, which increased respondents’ level of comfort, confidence and openness during the interviews. According to the research, the most common forms of psychological violence were insults and causing feelings of guilt. Most cases reported to institutions were cases of physical violence; respondents rarely informed other people or institutions about cases of sexual violence. The results show a disturbingly high prevalence of gender‐based violence against sex workers in two cities of Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH). A high level of stigma and the illegality of sex work create barriers to accessing formal and informal services for post‐violence support. In order to improve the situation, it is necessary to implement socio‐legal reforms regarding sex work, to develop programmes to prevent violence against sex workers and to create easy access to post‐violence services.

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SURVEY.Prevalence and characteristics of VAW in BiH.pdf

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Languages available: English, Bosnian/Serbian/Croatian

Bibliographic information

Geographic coverage: Europe and Central Asia; Bosnia and Herzegovina

Subject area(s): Ending violence against women and girls; Access to justice and legal protection; Sexual harassment; Trafficking/sexual exploitation

Resource type: Assessments

UN Women office involved in publication: Europe and Central Asia Regional Office

Publication year: 2011

Number of pages: 25

Governing bodies: UN Women Executive Board