We lack awareness that violence against women has no excuse!

F.S, a victim of violence by the opposite sex, had reported to the police that she had been violated by her boyfriend. She denounced him.

“…he had been detained by the police for only 48 hours. Upon his release he returned and beat me again”.

This time around she gave up even on the institutions that are there to protect her, for according to her, they do not take appropriate actions in these specific cases.

A total of 3,349 cases of domestic violence, 2,500 out of which involved women as victims, were reported to the Kosovo Police in the last three years (2013-2015).

According to the Press and Public Relations Office of the Kosovo Police, 1,038 cases of domestic violence, 869 out of which involved women as victims/complainants, were reported in 2015.

M.K.,  35 from Ferizaj and mother of a girl, who has been experiencing physical violence by her husband for years now, says that living with the fear of repeated violence is a real hell to her and her family.

However, in a way she justifies her husband by saying that maybe he exerts all that violence due to the stress of poverty.

“Sometimes I think he shouldn’t be blamed for we live in poverty, he cannot do anything, and I complain all the time”, says she.

Based on a research by Kosovo Agency of Statistics (KAS) on domestic violence during 2013-2014 period, financed by UNICEF, Kosova Women`s Network (KWN), has observed a correlation between domestic violence and dire economic and social situation.

The problem, on the other hand, should not be seen only in the lack of awareness in men but also women, according to this network

Based on the respective research, 33% of the surveyed Kosovar women (ages 15-49) feel that their husbands should be justified of beating or hitting their wives in at least one of the five situations.

Considerably greater percentage (68%) of women with no education agree that their husbands should be justified in beating or hitting them.

Women who justify the violence by their husbands, in most of the cases agree and do that when they neglect their children or when they show their autonomy, for example going out without letting the husband know, or when they argue with them. One out of ten women believes that violence against women may be justified if she refuses to have sex with her husband, and five percent if she burns the meal.

If we add several other “mistakes” to this list, tolerance to violence against women increases to 42.4 percent. These additional circumstances are: if she does not take care of the laundry and the hygiene, if she does not take care of his parents, if she makes him jealous, and she takes decisions about the family without consulting him.

The justification in each of the five situations is more present among poorer households, among less educated women and those previously married.

With higher level of education, women are less likely to justify the beating or the punching by their husbands.

On the other hand, men are less likely than women to justify the violence, with 15 percent of them justifying the beating of women in each of the five situations.

About 22 percent of the men surveyed, think that violence against women is necessary.

Arif Hajdari (52), from Ferizaj, father of four, considers that no violence should be exerted against anyone.

“Any kind of violence is intolerable, and in particular never against the opposite sex. We all have equal rights and they should not be denied by anyone”, says Hajdari.

Lawyer Qëndrim Rama says that there should be more discussion about violence against women, which would lead to more awareness of their rights and the protection of the same.

“Violence in our society is widely spread, but there is very little public debate about it, and this kind of silence legitimates the violence. Therefore, we as a society should work more in this direction if we want to live in a better society”, says Rama.

Xhenete Hasani

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