Femicide is the most extreme manifestation of violence against women and represents gender-based violence or violence directed against women based on their gender identity, gender roles, and unequal power relations within the social context. It is the misogynistic killing of women by men, motivated by hatred of women, contempt, as well as a sense of ownership and superiority.
The interdisciplinary research “Social and Institutional Responses to Femicide in Serbia I and II“, conducted in the first phase of the project “Eradication and Prevention of Femicides in Serbia“ shows that 74% of femicides were committed in partnership and family, while in 49,3% of these cases a woman was killed by her intimate partner. As much as 68% of femicides were committed in the house of the woman or the perpetrator. The research shows that court proceedings are focused on the perpetrator, while the victim is almost invisible, and that almost half of the victims have not previously reported violence or sought support from relevant institutions. Also, the study developed a model for femicide data collection and a set of recommendations for relevant stakeholders (police, prosecution, judiciary, centers for social welfare, health-care institutions) to improve effectiveness in preventing gender-based violence against women, including femicide.
In the second project phase, the partners are expanding the activities to contribute to better risk assessment and effective investigation of femicide in Serbia, throughout research, creating protocols, capacity building of relevant stakeholders, and a public awareness campaign about the nature and characteristics of femicide in Serbia.
The project will contribute to the establishment of a mechanism for monitoring femicide (Observatory of Femicide) in order to collect and analyze data on violence against women, as well as identify key oversights/omissions that lead to women being killed by their partners, in accordance with the recommendation of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women from 2015.
The project “Eradicating and Preventing Femicide in Serbia (phase 2)” will be implemented in the period from May 2020 to April 2021, by Gender Knowledge Hub, FemPlatz, and Women’s Research Center for Education and Communication, with the support of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) and the European Union within the project “Ending Violence against Women: Implementing Norms, Changing Minds“.