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ANNOUNCEMENT – Adopt the Law on Protection against Domestic Violence

The Human Rights House Banja Luka, together with 54 other non-government organizations in BiH, invites the representatives of the National Assembly of the Republic of Srpska, but also appeals to the entire public, citizens, not to be subject to unargued statements and manipulations in connection with the expression of “concern” of certain organization and to adopt the proposed Law on Protection against Domestic Violence and Violence against Women.

The right to life, freedom and personal security is one of the basic human rights that belong to all human beings regardless of their race, gender, language, religion, national or social origin, and other protected grounds.

Who does that bother in Republic of Srpska? Who cares about the Draft Law on Protection against Domestic Violence and Violence against Women, whose main goal is to protect victims of violence? Who wants to derogate from the civilizational achievement that recognized the violence that happened between the four walls as a social problem and made it punishable?

A partially appointed group of non-government organizations, with its extremely arbitrary and layman’s interpretations, causes enormous damage to the results achieved in the fight against violence, and above all to women, girls and little girls who are still not adequately protected from violence – as many as 47% of women in Bosnia and Herzegovina have experienced some form of violence in their lives, and 19 women in BiH were killed in 2021 and 2022 alone. Data from 2023 speak of 10 murdered women and 7 attempted femicides[1]. The largest number of these murders was preceded by long-term violence that was not reported or was reported, but there was no adequate reaction from the institutions.

Black statistics say that as many as 80 percent of abused women never report the abuser, because they do not believe in the protection system.

According to data from the Statistical Office of the Republic of Srpska, of the total number of reported perpetrators of crimes against marriage and the family in 2022, 736 were men and 83 were women (10%). In the same year, 562 men (94%) against 38 women (6%) were reported as perpetrators of crimes against life and body[2].

Are these men, the “heads of traditional families”, who are meant when certain organizations mention “traditional values”, the one who should be protected?

We consider the hasty statements of high-ranking politicians in Republic of Srpska who supported the “requests” of this group of organizations to be especially harmful and dangerous, as they apparently have not informed themselves of what exactly is written in the proposed Draft.

The Draft passed the necessary checks, and its primary purpose is to prevent or suppress violence in the family and violence against women, including the prevention of femicide as the most severe form and consequences of violence against women!

The Draft is harmonized with the Constitution, as well as with numerous international conventions and EU directives that regulate these issues.

The adoption of the proposed law would ensure a better and more effective response of all protection entities when providing assistance and support to victims of violence, as well as more decisive and timely institutional action in the case of violence.

The choice before the people’s representatives is clear: do they want a more determined fight regarding violence against women, or do they want women to continue to be exposed to violence and murder under the guise of tradition and “traditional values”, while the institutions remain silent on those phenomena.

The announcement was supported by:

Women’s Network Bosnia and Herzegovina

Sarajevo Open Center

Initiative Women Citizens for Constitutional Reform

[1] More at: Database of murdered women in BiH:


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