The representatives of the Women’s Network BiH (WN BiH) strongly condemn violence committed on Saturday (29th of June, 2013) against a girl R.T. by a assailant known to the police, and unadequate reaction of the police officers at the scene of the attack, who stood peacefully while the assailant attacked the victim, allowing him to inflict more bodily harm. Furthermore, we want to strongly condemn victimization by the medical stuff in the JU Zavod za hitnu pomoć in Canton Sarajevo, who hinted that the victim herself was to blame for the attack.
WN BiH considers that it is inadmissible for the law enforcing agencies and agencies that are in charge of taking care of the health of the citizens to contribute to the violence and stigmatization of women by their reactions.
R.T. has been attacked on Saturday night on 29th of June 2013, in the Pussy Galore club in the municipality of Stari Grad, when one male person hit her and pushed her to the wall, causing her to lose of conscience and causing severe bodily harm (head contusion that had to be stitched). The perpetrator continued attacking R.T., and after the police and the ambulance came, he ran after the victim, who was being taken into the ambulance, and violently pulled her arm, causing more contusions. This incident happened before the police officers, who just stood by.
After she was released from the emergency where her injuries were confirmed, R.T went to the police station Stari Grad to report the attack. She was told that there is no data in the police records and that that night’s incident was not reported at all. This negligence of the police officers was explained by the fact that the police officers might have forgotten to record the case.
It is important to emphasize that this is a assailant know to the police, who was convicted to a parole for committing a criminal assault on the life of a person. Also, the perpetrator was not permanently removed from the premises after the attack on the victim by the police and he was seen inside the club, where he commented on the attack with other persons who were present at the club, and continued making threats R.T. through their common acquaintances.
Besides the attack, where R.T. could not count on assistance of the police officers, she was subjected to verbal provocations during here examination at the surgery department at the emergency room in JU Zavod za hitnu pomoć of Canton Sarajevo, when one of employees of the ER commented that she was the one to provoke the attack and the assailant, and that there must be a reason why nobody else beside her was attacked. Bosnia and Herzegovina cannot let the law enforcement and health civil servants, whose legal obligation is to protect the health and the security of the BH citizens, to violate the laws and additionally endanger, victimize and stigmatize women subjected to violence, adding to the low rate of reported cases of violence against women.
WN BiH does not tolerate and condemns public and private opinions and attitudes that women are those who are traditionally and by patriarchal understanding to blame for the violence committed against them, and it is our opinion that these attitudes represent a basis for the lack of sanctioning of the violent behavior in public and private spaces.
In the name of WN BiH, its members, women’s organizations from all over Bosnia and Herzegovina condemn all forms of violence and discrimination against women and demand protection of all citizens from any kind of violence and unprofessional behavior of public servants from the responsible authorities and persons. We demand that the procedure of sanctioning the civil servants of the JU Zavod za hitnu pomoć of Canton Sarajevo, and police officers who let the violence against R.T. continue, as well as to adequately sanction the assailant to send the clear message that the omission of official duty, disrespect of women, victim of violence and the violence itself cannot and will not be tolerated in the BH society.
Women’s Network BiH