Launch of the movie “Domestic Violence – Finding a Way Out”
While we sit today in this cozy room, countless women and children who suffer violence out there cry for justice and struggle to find a way out of violence.
A warm welcome to the UN Eco House and thank you very much on behalf of the UN team for being here with us on such an important occasion.
Today we are launching something we believe will be a powerful and helpful tool for many, but primarily for victims of domestic violence. It is a movie – a short, 4-minute movie – which enlightens the path for the victims to find a way out of suffering.
All available researches in this field indicate that most of the victims never report violence and believe it is better just to endure it, until it becomes life threating. The reasons are many, including fear from consequences, shame in local community, but also insufficient knowledge of the available system-wide response to this problem.
That is why we joined forces with representatives of different state institutions who respond in cases of violence, but also with a creative movie director Zoran Marković. Inspired by the Protocol on action in cases of violence in family and violence against women, we jointly created a video-tutorial for the victims, to help them learn and understand what steps they may take to end the cycle of violence and to illustrate them what different institutions can and are obliged to offer them.
The movie has been produced for this year’s campaign campaign 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence but - as you will see the movie in couple of minutes - I believe you will share our strong belief that the movie will live and have purpose long after the campaign is over.
While we sit today in this cozy room, countless women and children who suffer violence out there cry for justice and struggle to find a way out of violence. May I remind you of the devastating figures concerning gender-based violence in Montenegro.
According to UNDP survey from 2017, every other woman in Montenegro has been a victim of violence at some point in her lifetime, and 1 in 5 women suffered violence during the previous year. This means that statistics tells us there are victims right here, right now, among us, in this audience. According to last year’s MICS survey, conducted by MONSTAT with support of UNICEF, every tenth man believes that it is justified that a husband beats his wife for reasons such as – having food burned, neglecting children, refusing sex, arguing with him or going out without telling him. The fact that every fourth citizen believes that the victim is responsible for violence and that there are situations in which the physical violence is justified, tells us a lot about the magnitude of the stereotype.
Montenegro is not alone in this. We are talking about one of the most pervasive violations of human rights in the world, one of the least prosecuted crimes, and one of the greatest threats to development.
Still, it must be recognized and commended what Montenegro is doing to strengthen the system response to this enormous challenge, as a part of country’s strong pledge to implement commitments made with ratification of Istanbul Convention. I would like to use this opportunity to commend all those brave people, including authentic protagonists of the movie, who tirelessly work on improvement of the quality and accessibility of services for all women, regardless of their location, ethnicity, age or social status.
We need to recognize efforts of both state institutions but also many NGOs, as fully-fledged partners, not only as providers of shelters, psychosocial and legal support to victims of violence, but also as agents to create behavioral change, and through them addressing the number one root cause of violence - patriarchal male-dominated society. I also own a special thanks to the activists of Women`s Safe House who have supported work on this movie through their wise insights and on-the-ground experience of helping violence survivors.
Ladies and gentlemen,
As you all know, violence against women is deeply rooted and very complex problem with multiple causes which can be addressed only through the system response. That’s why I believe the particular value of the movie is the fact that it brings together various actors and institutions who provide coordinated assistance and support to victims of domestic violence. Because, clear understanding of the steps and available support is one of the key preconditions for a victim to make a first step toward a way out of violence.
Having said this may I invite you all to give wings to this excellent tool for victims of domestic violence and to share it via your channels and platforms. Because for victims, every step counts.
I sincerely hope that this movie will make yet another brick in the wall to protect victims of gender-based violence.
Thank you very much.