Parallel pandemic — protection of women from gender based violence during Covid-19


On the occa­sion of mark­ing 16 days of activism against vio­lence against women, Ivana Zel­ic, coor­di­na­tor of the SOS ser­vice of the orga­ni­za­tion IZ KRUGAVOJVODINA, par­tic­i­pat­ed in the online round table Par­al­lel pan­dem­ic — pro­tec­tion of women from gen­der-based vio­lence dur­ing the Covid-19 pan­dem­ic.

The round table was orga­nized by the Ini­tia­tive for Equal­i­ty, Inno­va­tion and Social Engage­ment (IRIDA), on Thurs­day, Decem­ber 10, start­ing at 12 pm, via the Zoom appli­ca­tion. Rep­re­sen­ta­tives of insti­tu­tions, civ­il soci­ety orga­ni­za­tions and the local com­mu­ni­ty par­tic­i­pat­ed, in order to ini­ti­ate a dia­logue on gen­der-based vio­lence dur­ing the Covid-19 virus pan­dem­ic and the women’s pro­tec­tion sys­tem, espe­cial­ly in less devel­oped urban and sub­ur­ban set­tle­ments.

The response to gen­der-based vio­lence in the con­di­tions of the iso­la­tion at home, expe­ri­ences, data of insti­tu­tions and orga­ni­za­tions on the degree and increase of vio­lence dur­ing the pan­dem­ic and the approach of the women’s pro­tec­tion sys­tem were dis­cussed by:

  • Nada Pade­js­ki Sekerovic — psy­chol­o­gist, man­ag­er of the Safe Women’s House, Cen­ter for Social Work, Novi Sad
  • Ivana Per­ic — coor­di­na­tor of the SOS Women’s Cen­ter
  • Ivana Zel­ic — coor­di­na­tor of the SOS ser­vice IZ KRUGAVOJVODINA
  • Alek­san­dra Gru­jic — coor­di­na­tor for youth work, IRIDA

The dis­cus­sion was mod­er­at­ed by Mar­i­ja Maric, jour­nal­ist and co-founder of mOUTh of the BOKS and Diary of an entre­pre­neur.

With this event, Iri­da announces the begin­ning of the sec­ond phase of the cam­paign with­in the project Vio­lence is always iso­la­tion. In the first phase, the cam­paign aimed to increase the vis­i­bil­i­ty of SOS con­tacts of sup­port orga­ni­za­tions IZ KRUGAVOJVODINA and SOS Women’s Cen­ter.

- The cam­paign was very suc­cess­ful, which is con­firmed by the increased num­ber of calls to the SOS hot­line. The num­ber of calls dur­ing the cam­paign was three times high­er than in the same peri­od last year. In this way, we informed women who are in a sit­u­a­tion of vio­lence about the sources of sup­port and sent a mes­sage that they are not alone — says Ivana Zel­ic.

Pho­to: IRIDA

The con­tin­u­a­tion of the cam­paign will be real­ized online and by direct action in the local com­mu­ni­ty, but this time in less devel­oped parts of the city (Klisa, Adice, Telep). Giv­en that these are com­mu­ni­ties in which most­ly cit­i­zens of low­er socio-eco­nom­ic and edu­ca­tion­al sta­tus live, the rate of gen­der-based vio­lence is high­er in them. The cam­paign will also be con­duct­ed in sub­ur­ban vio­lence (Srem­s­ka Kameni­ca, Srem­s­ki Karlov­ci, Vet­ernik, Futog and Petrovaradin), bear­ing in mind that infor­ma­tion and SOS sup­port ser­vices for women in these set­tle­ments are less acces­si­ble.

The main rec­om­men­da­tion and con­clu­sion from the round table is the neces­si­ty of cre­at­ing sys­temic sup­port that con­tin­u­ous­ly mon­i­tors all phas­es of over­com­ing the sit­u­a­tion of vio­lence. The great response of insti­tu­tions, orga­ni­za­tions, cit­i­zens, con­firms the need for joint involve­ment and action in solv­ing this prob­lem, dur­ing the pan­dem­ic and after it.