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Udruženje žena Pešcanik

Rasina District women for life without violence

14. August 2019.

“Rasina District women for life without violence – Towards more effective cooperation in local communities in fighting violence against women”

Basic information about the project
The project is aimed to contribute to improvement of the protection of women from gender-based violence and cooperation at all levels, amongst institutions and women’s CSOs.
The plan is also to increase capacity of SOS Helpline for women survivors of violence against women by providing pro bono legal help, establishing self-support groups and drafting individual security plans for survivors in the Rasina district. Considerable attention will be devoted to raising public awareness and spreading the message about the necessity of “0 tolerance” to violence through media campaigns and organizing workshops and meetings with the multiple marginalized women in order to make SOS support more accessible to them.
“Rasina district women for life without violence – Towards more effective cooperation in local communities in fighting violence against women” project challenges the authorities’, institutions’ and citizens’ attitudes in 6 local communities in Rasina District: Aleksandrovac, Brus, Cicevac, Varvarin, Trstenik and Krusevac about violence against women, and requests larger commitment to the protection of survivors of violence.
It should be said that Republic of Serbia committed itself to „due diligence“ in the protection from gender based violence, exactly as the Convention of European Council on Prevention and Combating violence against women and in family requires. However, violence against women remains one of the largest problems in the country. Women against Violence Network evidenced, in a base of media reports, at least 32 femicide in 2016. The national SOS helpline is still not established. Unified data base does not exist so it is difficult to get a clearer picture of the problem of violence against women. Free / pro bono legal aid for vulnerable groups is not mandatory – small number of communities provide it. That fact specially affects Roma, women with disabilities, rural and other poor women who do not have money to pay for professional services.
As much as the lack of coordination and cooperation among the various institutions in the protection of women against violence is problematic, the attitude of the authorities towards the institutions and women’s groups which provide emergency support is also worrying. The authorities declaratively support women’s groups and express that they will cooperate with them, but the insight in the budget allocations says opposite – the protection of women from violence is not on governments’ lists of priorities.

Target groups of the project
1) Local authorities / officials and representatives of Institutions – We will address to the institutions’ employees trying to improve the contacts between each other, and cooperate more in protection of women from gender based violence.
2) SOS services / Women’s CSOs / activists and SOS counselors – SOS Helpline and supportive services in Romani cikna and W as woman, Aleksandrovac provide support to women survivors of violence in Serbian and Roma language. Launching SOS services in small towns encourages women to report violence, strengthens women’s activism and increases citizens’ information about the issue.
3) Women survivors of violence, the beneficiaries of SOS support – There are 70-80 beneficiaries of SOS Helpline annually and nearly 150 phone calls. Our beneficiaries survived different kinds of violence;; they are different age, economic and social status… KTK support will enable providing pro bono legal servise for them that will satisfy their various needs and priorities.
4) Multiple discriminated women – Roma women report violence rare, feel ashamed and afraid to lose state benefits; they do not trust the institutions… Women with disabilities are very often unemployed and considered burden to their families and society. Rural women work hard, in the fields and homes but they are expected “to keep their mouth shut” when it comes to making decisions. We would like to encourage all them to ask for help before they get caught in a circle of violence, which requires more time, resources and strength to get out from.
5) Citizens – To our experience, the general public does not have enough knowledge about the problem of violence against women, and does not understand the nature of power relations between the sexes. We wish to improve the general atmosphere in society, which will stimulate the elimination of violence and effective protection of women, and hostile to violence and abusers.

II Stakeholders
The Network of Women against violence and Women in black Network, as well as the Network of women in Rasina District for women’s rights will be the stakeholders. The certain women in decision-making positions, including gender equality bodies will also support the project. Media, which regularly report about our activities, for example the magazine City, are stakeholders and interested in supporting the project.

III Partners and associates
This project will be implemented in close cooperation with NGOs Romani cikna, W as woman, Aleksandrovac and Kaliopa from Brus, as well as informal groups in Trstenik, Cicevac and Varvarin, with which Pescanik achieved excellent cooperation for years now.

1) Public advocacy for more responsible officials’ respond to violence against women:
– Meetings between the authorities and women’s’ CSOs and activists of women’s rights;
– Submitting the women’s groups’ initiatives to the officials and institutions representative;
– Training for improving multisector cooperation in protection from VAW
2) Increasing women’s groups, SOS services and beneficiaries’ capacities for further advancement of the support to survivor of violence:
– Meeting of women’s NGOs within Network against violence about licensing for providing services
– Exchange with other women’s groups;
– Burn out prevention and feminist care
– Providing pro bono legal help to women and
– Establishing Self-supports group and making individual security plans
3. Awareness rising including attitude changes about VAW issue:
– Workshops and meetings for / with vulnerable women;
– Media campaign and distribution of information about VAW issue to citizens

Project management
The coordinator of the project is Snezana Jakovljevic, one of the initiates and establishers of the Association. The assistant is Slavica Stanojlovic Urosevic, long termed activist of the organization and the counselor in SOS Helpline. Technical officer is Zvezdana Budimovic Savkovic, web administrator and with important experience in the issue of Women Peace security.