This Saturday, February 06, 2016, a protest action “Take Responsibility for Women’s Murder” will be held at Cvjetni Square in Zagreb starting at 11 am to give honor to the murdered women and point out the failings of the institutions, which by their inadequate responses become this assassination, and to call on the responsibility of a whole society that by ignoring the problem and tacit approval permits the murder of women.

Only in the last month of this year there have been four murders of women committed by their partners, husbands, fathers and sons. In just over a year, 16 women were killed by men who were in a family or partnership relationship. Women of all generations – daughters, mothers and grandmothers – were killed.

In the Republic of Croatia every 28 days a woman is killed by her current or former partner. More than 30 women each day suffer physical violence from their current or former spouse. Every 11 days, a woman reports a rape committed by her partner or husband.

Reported violence is treated by a police officer as a ‘violation of public order and peace’, often arrests of two arrests (bullies and victims). The police also passes the aggressor and victim to the hands of judges who, by virtue of their violence, give them insufficient fines and short sentences, do not issue the necessary protective measures or apply them inadequately. On the other hand, women victims of violence survived inadequate, intimidated and traumatized. Such “punishments” and treatment not only directly threaten the lives of women, but send a message that violence against women is not a serious crime. The woman who reported the violence correctly understood that she was not protected, that the abuser would return home quickly, even more aggressive and ready to kill.

The requirements of the Initiative “Taking Responsibility for Women’s Murder” are following:

• Improving and enforcing laws and procedures that protect the victim, not the offender.
• The urgent ratification of the Council of Europe Convention on the Prevention and Combating of Violence against Women and Domestic Violence, which obliges state institutions to make maximum efforts to protect women from family, partner and other forms of violence.

  • Responding to the question of why the new Family Protection Law (foreseen for 1 January 2016) has been postponed.
  • The urgent entry into force of this Law and all its measures and responsibilities in providing protection to women victims of violence, in accordance with the needs of the victim.
  • Compulsory, urgent and priority physical removal of bullies from the victim – in practice!
  • Regulated and supervised enforcement of victim protection measures, including sanctions for non-execution.
  • Institutions that are educated, competent and aware of their work and who take care of their citizens.
  • The introduction of civic education and non-violence education that will promote the constitutional value of the Republic of Croatia on the equality of all citizens and citizens as the only remedy for recovery and the creation of a healthy society.
  • Aware, responsible and persistent work to put an end to the trans-historical series of women’s murders because women are women and because societies do not punish, allow, and incite such violence.

The protest action is organized by the newly formed and informal Initiative ‘Take Responsibility for Women’s Murder’, with the support of relevant associations. Immediate motives for the establishment of the Initiative and the Action have been the frequent killings of women by partners, spouses and close family members during the past and early this year, which, like all previous years, are caused by irresponsibility and failure of the competent institutions and the whole society, which by ignoring problems and tacit approval permits the murder of women.

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