Violence Against Women and Systemic Discrimination: a Long Way to Justice

Violence against women is often not recognized, even when it comes to severe and long-lasting forms of physical violence, which leaves serious physical and psychological consequences. It is even more rare that women who are victims of such violence receive adequate protection from relevant institutions. What kind of protection, in such circumstances, victims of psychological and economic violence can expect and to what extent the institutions in BiH are in fact able to tackle violence against women?


Themes: Human Rights
Aleksandra Ivanković


Through her own and experiences of many women who are victims of physical, verbal, psychological and economic violence, the author examines the inability of the existing system to adequately protect women victims of violence and, too often, their underage children. Physical violence, insults, threats, manipulation with children or lack of support are just some of the ways the violence is perpetuated. The inability of institutions to provide victims with protection from such behavior forces them to try to find ways to protect themselves and their young children from the more serious consequences.

This situation in effect encourages the perpetrators, and their victims are pushed more and more towards the margins. The non-collecting of data, the regulations that put women at a disadvantage, and some of the practices of the police, prosecutorial offices and courts that often additionally victimize the women are in conflict with the provisions of the Istanbul Convention and many other international instruments and constitutional guarantees that are in force in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The author suggests that the introduction of effective and adequate protection measures is a key to success not only for victims, but for the society as a whole.

The publication in local languages is available HERE.

The publication is published within the project “Equality for All: Civil Society Coalition against Discrimination“, and is implemented in cooperation with Mediacentar Sarajevo, Analitika – Center for Social Research, Rights for All and Vaša prava BiH. This project is financed by USAID and Open Society Fund Bosnia and Herzegovina.

This publication is published by the generous support of the American People through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The contents of this Commentary are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.