Domestic violence in region continues to be a problem

19/07/2012

Authorities say exposure and increase in domestic violence awareness is part of the fight against the occurrence.

By Safet Kabashaj for Southeast European Times in Pristina -- 19/07/12

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Police say victims of domestic violence are mostly married women suffering at the hands of their husbands. [Safet Kabashaj/SETimes]

More than 420 cases of domestic violence have been reported in Kosovo in the first six months of this year, authorities said, most often from women seeking protection from an abusive spouse.

Arta Hasani of Kosovo, a mother of two children, divorced her husband two years ago.

"A lot of reasons caused this [divorce], and we had a huge misunderstanding, which brought us to this point," she said. "There was more psychological abuse. I can't say there was no physical violence, but less."

Police say victims of domestic violence are mostly married women suffering at the hands of their husbands, and in most cases such marriages end in divorce.

Naime Sherifi, executive director of the Centre for Protection of Women and Children, said the centre sheltered more than 1,030 women since 2000. Some 881 were victims of domestic violence.

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"Our experience shows the situation is troubling. While each year there is a record of six to ten persons that die as a result of domestic violence in a small society and country like this, there is reason for concern." Kosovo has a population of about 2m people.

The centre offers housing for six months, meals and other assistance, including psychological treatment. In a joint effort with state institutions, police and the Ministry of Justice, the centre attempts to reconcile families torn apart by domestic violence, though, in most cases, the outcome is negative.

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