Last Wednesday morning, we gathered in a conference room at the Prezar hotel which is situated in the hills high above the Serbian town of Vranje. Legal professionals and advocates had come from around the region and we were about to begin the second day of our training on improving the legal system’s response to violence against women. Before we started, we learned that the 13th domestic violence homicide in Serbia for 2015 had happened the day before. One per week, since the beginning of the year.
When we announced this murder to our 35 training participants – police, NGO’s, Centers for Social Work, prosecutors and judges, I sensed something in the room. It was a feeling of urgency that I have noticed more and more in recent years from those who are the first responders to cases of violence against women. Continue reading