“WE WANT SAFE HOUSES AND NOT SHELTERS!”

Support by Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation

With the support of Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation NGO Zenski centar Trebinje has held a Street manifestation at the Liberty Square in Trebinje on April 7th 2012. The manifestation under the name “We Want Safe Houses, not Shelters” was intended to promote the importance of Safe houses and to refer to the current Social Security Bill in Republika Srpska, which in the article 121 proposes shelters as an alternative accommodation for each socially jeopardized category (including children and adults, victims of trafficking, homeless people, drug addicts, victims of domestic violence etc.)

Believing that the victims of domestic violence cannot be put along with other socially jeopardized categories (as they require different treatments from that which can be provided in shelters) the aim of Street manifestation was to point out the flaws in the current Social Security Bill and to promote the need of establishing a greater number of Safe houses in Republika Srpska, especially in the region of East Herzegovina which does not have a single Safe house. Zenski centar Trebinje has distinguished the importance of drawing attention to this subject matter and recognized it as a very important step towards the amendment of the current Social Security Bill in Republika Srpska and consequently the establishment of a greater number of Safe houses.

For the purposes of manifestation, we have designed promotional material (posters, leaflets, plastic bags etc.) through which we had briefly presented problems and justified the need for a greater number of Safe houses. The promotional material was distributed by our activists, members of the Zenski centar Trebinje. As well as that, the activists spread a word on the current Social Security Bill and its flaws concerning the problem of situating the victims of domestic violence into shelters, instead of the Safe houses.

The manifestation was also attended and covered by media (RTRS, Trebinje danas, Lokoportal and Korona radio). An activist of Zenski centar Trebinje, Professor Ms Mirna Bijedic, had an interview with several media houses in which she explained the purposes of manifestation and its importance to the entire public of Republika Srpska. She also underlined the fact that Republika Srpska lacks Safe houses, paying a special attention to the fact that the region of East Herzegovina has none. Thus, she strongly emphasized the urgency and need of establishing at least one Safe house in the mentioned region.

According to the close observation of activists, the manifestation had an excellent response and was warmly received and supported by both female and male population. The townspeople of Trebinje were highly motivated and interested in the manifestation. Not a single case of negative response related to the subject matter was recorded during the manifestation. The interaction with the townspeople of Trebinje was valued excellent by the activists who participated in the Street manifestation and by Zenski centar Trebinje.

Finally, we conclude that the people of Trebinje are acquainted with the social problems of domestic violence victims and that they have become aware of the importance of building a Safe house in the region of East Herzegovina. As a result, we strongly feel that they are ready to conceptualize and embrace our idea of a Safe house, just as we are ready to put our efforts into practically applying it.


“CAMPAIGN 101 REASONS FOR A WOMEN ON LOCAL ELECTIONS: STREET ACTIONS IN 10 BH TOWNS”

Support by CURE and INFOHOUSE

Our organization participated as one of 10 partners in the projectimplemented by organizations CURE and INFOHOUSE aimed at provision ofsupport to female politicians on these local elections. On September29, 2012 we organized a public lecture with Branka Inic in the coffeebar "Piramida" in Trebinje. At that occasion, only a small number offemale politicians arrived despite the fact that we informedbeforehand all women's actives, i.e. all political parties inTrebinje. For those women who are on lists and whose mobile phonenumbers we have, we also used this way to inform them. That proved tobe appropriate since the participating women told us that theirparties did not inform them about this lecture even though we sentappropriate information. This is an indicator of silent obstruction offemale candidates by their colleagues. Another case is the example ofthe independent candidate Mrs. Nada Mandeganja whom the MunicipalElection Commission excluded from all information, trainings etc.while her colleagues from other parties even attempted to threaten her
and force her to vote.Mrs. Branka shared with participating women very useful informationand advice on how they could and should design their campaigns,pointed out the importance for every candidate to be familiar with
appropriate legal regulations that determine rights and obligations ofaldermen/alderwomen. This is very important to emphasize because itbecame obvious that nearly none of the participating candidates isfamiliar with these documents, not even with the programs of their ownpolitical party. Only a small number of them are familiar with the Lawon Gender Equality. It has been commented that women's actives areestablished only pro forma, that is they are active only a monthbefore the elections and then only symbolically. All this confirmedthe need to start immediately in the first half of 2013 intensive workwith political actives of women for General Elections 2014 in order tobe able to truly help them to develop their personal capacities. Asfor media, only the representative of Avaz came though we informed allof them. There is a prevailing impression that TV stations payattention only to paid times.On October 4, 2012, we organized a street action beginning at 12:00a.m. on the town square Trg slobode where we distributed the remainingmaterials: leaflets, badges, ladles, glasses and aprons.
Unfortunately, we were not able to provide a fauteuil because therewas no one from where we could lend it and our organization does nothave any fauteuils. This time we informed again all media and onlyrepresentatives of radio Trebinje arrived. Citizens demonstratedreactions ranging from support to skepticism.


„LEGAL REGULATION IN THE REPUBLIC OF SRPSKA THAT TREATS VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE“

Support by Open Sociality Institute

The reporting period covers activities implemented from July 1, 2012 until August 30, 2012. During this period and immediately after the receipt of funds, we purchased the equipment necessary for the implementation of this Project, including furniture and technical equipment.

Legal aid and court representation

During the reporting period, we engaged a lawyer, Mr. Slavko Sanjevic who is very experienced in legal relations (he used to be the President of the County Court in Trebinje). Legal aid is available to all our fellow citizens from 14:00 to 18:00 every work day and, when necessary, our lawyer will be also available on weekends, day and night (in urgent cases where the victim is exposed to an acutely violent situation). In order to present it to the wider public in our region covered by the Primary Court Trebinje, we published an informative three-day announcement on the most popular radio station that covers the Eastern Herzegovina region. During the reporting period 19 women victims of domestic violence appealed to our office (either through SOS help line or direct arrival into the office). Seven of them requested legal advice and representation in the court has been initiated for one of them. We are still working on the dissemination of information on this new possibility for support and protection of women victims of violence in Eastern Herzegovina and we, therefore, shared this information during meetings organized in each Eastern Herzegovina municipality in the frame of meetings with representatives of organizations and institutions.

Development of multidisciplinary approach in Eastern Herzegovina

During the reporting period we organized two regular meetings in each Eastern Herzegovina municipality (Trebinje, Ljubinje, Bileca, Gacko, Nevesinje and Berkovici) as follows:–Berkovici - July 24, 2012, Trebinje - July 25, 2012, Bileca - July 26, 2012, Ljubinje - July 27, 2012, Gacko - July 30, 2012 and Nevesinje – July 31, 2012. We used the opportunity to inform all signatories of the Agreement about the cooperation in this Project, activities planned and expected results. We came across high level of support because the majority of these people work directly with victims of domestic violence and they see this Project as a form of support and help to their work (police, centers for social welfare, Prosecutor's office, health centers, as well as primary and secondary schools and nurseries). We agreed that until the next meeting each of them will disseminate these information in their local community and inform institutions/organizations as well as the beneficiaries (women victims of domestic violence).

The second round of meetings has been organized in the week from 20th to 24th of August, 2012 but due to summer holidays only a small number of participants attended and we were able only to exchange information without making agreements on any specific actions for the forthcoming period. We, therefore, agreed that our next meeting should be directly beginning of the month to coordinate joint actions and support to victims of domestic violence.


“CAPACITY BUILDING II”

Supported by OAK Foundation

During the reporting period from January 1, 2012 to May 31, 2012 thatis encompassed by the Annual report, a total number of 23 women askedfor advice from the doctor mainly to get information about thyroid,diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, reproductive organs diseases andmenopause. Nearly all women emphasized that they live in stressfulcircumstances, mainly under pressure due to weak financial situationand other side effects of a society in transition.

During this periodadvice has been provided for 6 women victims of domestic violencewhich have been referred from our colleagues from the counselingoffice for victims because they recognized that they are among therisk group and that they should get information from the doctor.Regardless of the possibility, none of the victims of domesticviolence used during the reporting period the opportunity for freeultra sound check up with vaginal sound because of shame to exposethemselves in public as victims of domestic violence, which indicatesthat they did not overcome yet the stereotype on the victim and thatit is necessary to continue to work with them.During this period, 42 women asked for support in our organization asfollows - 28 through personal contact and 11 through telephone.

From29 of these women 14 asked for support at several occasions and 9 ofthem participated in groups for self-support. Three of them initiateddivorce procedure. In 90% of cases there are several forms of violence(mental, physical and economic). In most of the cases we cooperatedwith the police, centers for social welfare, prosecutor's office,schools and nurseries. Prosecutor's office started the initiativetowards us and they invite us to become involved in serious cases.Among the women 85% of them think that we helped them to develop theirpersonal capacities and that we encouraged them to take control overtheir lives. We had supervision every month.

001


Improvement of the laws that protect victims of domestic violence in Republic of Srpska

Support by Swedish organization Kvinna till Kvinna and U.S. Embassy Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina

On 24.02.2012, as per the initiative of NGO „Women’s center“ Trebinje, a meeting has been held, involving seven female organizations in the aim of harmonizing the points of view in relation with amendments and supplements to the laws treating domestic violence in Republic of Srpska. At this meeting, out of total 13 female NGOs that were invited from RS, since it is law brought on entity level, the following took part: „Lara“ Bijeljina, „United women“ Banjaluka, „Bridge“ Višegrad“, „Women’s Association“ Šamac, „Women’s Forum“ Bratunac, „Woman and family“ Gradiška as well as organization „Your rights BiH“-Trebinje office that offer free legal aid to the victims of domestic violence. Representatives of SIDA-e from Sarajevo and Kvinna till Kvinna were also present at this meeting. Representatives of other NGOs were not present at this meeting mostly due to snowy weather condition.

002

The laws we discussed are the preliminary draft of the Law on protection from domestic violence in RS and in that moment draft of the Law on social protection in RS. Since as per the initiative of RS Gender center, four organizations (three of them together; “United women Banjaluka, “Future” Modrica, “Lara” Bijeljina and separately “Women’s Center” Trebinje) forwarded their proposals for amendments and supplements towards the Ministry of family, sport and youth of RS Government, at this meeting the following was concluded:

- female NGO sector in Republic of Srpska should maintain a consistent point of view when it comes to requesting amendments and supplements to the existing legislation that treats the domestic violence in RS, so our unity and wholeness would contribute the significance to the requested amendments and supplements that were made as a reflection of the work done so far and rich experience of the organizations dealing with the domestic violence.

It has been agreed:

-female NGO sector that did not speak out about the preliminary draft of the Law on protection from domestic violence can do it now in a way that they should send a letter supporting the suggestions made by the organizations that have already forwarded their opinion to the Ministry of family, youth and sport in RS, so it becomes a unified standing point of female NGO (1)

-since in some parts the opinion regarding preliminary draft of the Law on protection from domestic violence (of the joint proposal made by three organizations: “United women” Banja Luka, “Lara” Bijeljina and “Future” Modrica) differ from the opinion of “Women’s center” Trebinje, there is a need for harmonization, which is to be achieved as follows: these three organizations should adopt the proposal of NGO “Women’s center”, which suggests that the stay in Safe houses should be 12 months with the possibility of extension, and not three months with the possibility of extension as currently written in this preliminary draft of the Law. NGO Women’s center Trebinje will give up on the request for introducing the measure of community service in local community because it is against the streaming of all four organizations (Women’s center Trebinje, United women Banja Luka, Lara Bijeljina and Future Modrica” in a form of an amendment to the draft of the RS Law on social protection that has been sent o the relevant Ministry.

Since meanwhile a possibility emerged to delegate toward the USA Embassy in BiH a project proposal regarding amendments and supplements to the legislations, we forwarded a proposal for the organization of two-day conference “Let’s improve the laws protecting the victims of domestic violence in Republic of Srpska”. This conference is practically a part of this project since we recognized that it is far more effective to organize such a conference and gather female nongovernmental organizations as well as relevant international/governmental organizations/bodies, instead of forwarding the support letter individually by female nongovernmental organizations to relevant ministries, from our meeting dated 24.02.2012 in Trebinje. Namely, in that way we would support the proposals that the above stated organizations (Lara, United women, Future and Women’s Center”) as per the invite made by RS Gender center addressed to the RS Ministry of family, youth and sport and RS Ministry of health and social care.

We managed to get the support from US Ambassador in BiH, not only financially, but also H.E. Ambassador Mr. Patrick Moon opened this conference . The conference is held on 3rd and 4th of May in Trebinje, involving over 50 participants (representing international and local institutions/bodies), and all the media covering this area monitored this event (RTRS, BHTV1, BN, ATV), as well as news agencies. The absence of the representatives from the invited ministries was obvious; RS Ministry of family, youth and sport, RS Ministry of justice, RS Ministry of education and culture, RS Ministry of local administration and self-governance, RS Ministry of health and social protection as well as the BiH Gender equality agency and RS Gender center. This speaks about the relationship of the Government towards these issues. However, commendable is the presence of numerous female NGOs from RS. At this conference the points of views of female NGO dealing directly with the victims of domestic violence are harmonized for the first time. These harmonized points of view are forwarded to the addresses of those that need to bring the decisions on their adoption.

003

004

From this conference economic support programs for the victims of domestic violence have been forwarded, both on local and entity level. These are being advocated for by Women’s center Trebinje for a long time. Therefore we were enabled to configure possible forms of such a support, together with an economy expert from Banjaluka, Prof Racic, as stated below:

“First suggestion-entity level”

Forming of a new venture fund credit line for civil persons with specific needs. These persons are women victims of domestic violence, innovators… Within IRB RS credit line, loans are intended for citizens. It is necessary to suggest that the women victims of domestic violence become a part of a beneficiary group (family of war veterans, invalids, families with 4 or more children…). The amount of guarantee would be from 3000 to 40000 BAM, with maximum interest rate (including all the fees, taxes and stipulations) 5,5 %.

Text of the proposal: RS venture fund shall issue a guarantee for credit lines of IRS RS, as per conditions defined by the Regulations for the loans and credit lines for women victims of domestic violence.

Suggestion: non-governmental sector and/or RS Gender center

Second suggestion – entity level

Investment Development Bank of Republic of Srpska (IRB RS)

Text of the proposal: for loans approved by IRB RS amounting 500000 BAM it is obligatory to employ (priority employment) of one victim of domestic violence.

Third suggestion – local level

By the Law on Investment-development bank of RS (“RS Official gazette No. 56/06) the activities of IRBRS has been determined, and Article 7, paragraph 3 clearly says that IRBRS cannot provide guarantees. IRBRS suggested to the units of local administration to form deposit and/or loan funds, in order to provide larger number of clients interested in easier approach to loan funds by the Law on loans and guarantees of Republic of Srpska (RS Official gazette No. 30/07), the legislator anticipated forming of venture funds at the local administration level (municipalities and towns) with a purpose of supporting MSP sector, agriculture etc.

Text of the proposal. Forming of the venture fund in the local administration levels

Initiator: Association of the municipalities and towns of Republic of Srpska, NGO sector

Fourth suggestion – local level

Text of the proposal: users of the means from the domain of entrepreneurship are obliged for each 25000 BAM of granted loan (guarantees) to employ one person – victim of domestic violence from the area of given municipality, that hadn’t been employed during the previous year with the same employer, hence to accept the obligation not to reduce the number of employees during the period of three years.

Initiator: NGO sector and/or Gender center of Republic of Srpska

Fifth suggestion – local level

Text of the proposal: municipalities should allocate from 3000 to 5000 BAM from their budgets) depending of the size of municipality, i.e. municipal budget) for women victims of domestic violence as per the business plans

Initiator: Association of the municipalities and towns of Republic of Srpska, NGO sector

Sixth suggestion – local level

Text of the proposals: entrepreneurs should be exempted from municipal taxes if they hire a woman victim of domestic violence.

Initiator: Association of the municipalities and towns of Republic of Srpska, NGO sector

Explanation of the proposal

The problems of securing the collateral means is being visible from the loan structure that Investment-development bank IRB RS placed so far through commercial banks.

The very least of the means from the beginning of the IRB work is related to initial business and micro-business in agriculture, 3 % out of total number of placed loans, very frequently because of the problems with guarantees.

So far not s single guarantee (out of 11 that were released, worth 4 112 472,23 BAM) has been released for start-up and entrepreneurs. This year 4 guarantees were released in the amount of 1 107 472, 23 BAM.

Many enterprises face problem for irregular land registry rights, hence are not in position to provide collateral means requested by the bank when approving the loan.

Seventh proposal – Project approach

Text of the proposal: within respective ministry (RS Ministry of family, youth and sport or RS Ministry of industry, energy and mining) a project should be made; “Women entrepreneurs” with the aim of allocating the non-refundable means as a support of a small value.

Initiator: Association of the municipalities and towns of Republic of Srpska, Gender center RS.

Eighth proposal – invitation to all the large companies for corporate social responsibility

Large companies direct their operations towards society more and more, which is the way to integrate into the community. By solving many problems of the community, companies can approach their clients. In order t approach the clients as soon as possible, they resolve the issues within the community by paying attention to what is being their greatest problem. In order to create an image of a reliable partner, world companies pay great attention to public relations and resolving of social problems. Therefore our companies must develop into that direction.

Text of the proposal: to address large companies in our area (Telekom Srpska, Power utility of Republic of Srpska, Oil industry of Republic of Srpska, RS National Lottery. Banks, Integral Engineering, as well as other public and private companies) to direct their business towardssocially responsible acts i.e. to allocate part of their means for solutions to the problems of jeopardized categories of population and to give them support in economic empowerment.

Ninth suggestion: Modified Venture fund

Reasons for legislative intervention

  1. Need for harmonization with EU laws,

  2. Special treatment for qualified investors,

  3. Regulated cross-border activities of investment funds, i.e. agencies managing them,

  4. Clearer definition of the fund typology, acceptable content of their portfolio and limited investments, as well as the methodology of confirm the value of the fund’s portfolio.

Our suggestion: Modified Venture funds in a form of Venture Capital Fund. Possible model that would be intended as a support to economic empowerment of women victims of domestic violence would be (modified) model of guarantee fund in a form of Venture capital fund.

Founders: Republic of Srpska Government (respective ministry/ministries) and Inovations center of Republic of Srpska, on one side; private investors and/or capital market investors on the other side.

Tenth suggestion for amendments and supplements to the Law on the income tax

Suggestion A is related to the amendments inside the Law on income tax – shown in the Implementation codebook. It is about possibility of introducing a new category when reducing the tax basis.

Text of the proposal: amendment in the section G) reduction of tax basis for the victims of domestic violence is being given as per the receipt from Social care center, Public security center and jurisdictional ministry.

Note: the sum for the reduced tax basis n annual level can be 1200 BAM, like in the case with voluntarily pension insurance.

Suggestion B: it is related to possibility of stimulating the employers to hire women/men victims of domestic violence in a way that the country allows them reduced payment of endowments (like in the case of hiring the apprentices).

At this conference an agreement made in April 2012 between our organization and representatives of Berkovici Municipality was accentuated; for this municipality to be a pilot municipality in East Herzegovina, since they will include our suggestion in their budget for 2013; introducing two levels of economic support for the women victims of domestic violence, as follows:

  • Since they are one of the most underdeveloped municipalities in RS and in BiH, they will plan a grant in the amount of 2000 BAM for one woman victim of domestic violence that will be in position to invest that money as per the business plan. In that case woman victim of domestic violence must have a status of a victim and invest the money into the self-employment. Business plan will be drafted by our organization or some other service. We emphasize that this is a rural municipality.

  • Private sector registered in this municipality when willing to hire a woman victim of domestic violence will be exempted from municipal taxes.

Besides previously stated suggestions of “Women’s Center” Trebinje (for supplements and amendments of the RS Law on protection from domestic violence) and joint proposals from “United women| Banjaluka, “Future” Modrica and “Lara” Bijeljina (for amendments and supplements to the RS Law on protection from domestic violence, RS Law on social care”, at this conference a joint proposal of “Helsinki citizens’ assembly” Banjaluka and Association of single parents “Pride” Banja Luka has been adopted as well (regarding amendments and supplements of the RS Family Act).

The conclusion of this conference is that the suggested amendments to the Laws (RS Family Act, RS Law on protection from domestic violence, RS Law on social care, RS Law on income tax), as well as economy programs on entity and local level, should be adopted and supported by RS Government, since they are the products of experience coming from nongovernmental sector in direct work with victims of domestic violence in RS.

All implemented activities – including organization of meetings with partner organizations from the KtK network to familiarize them with planned activities and invite them to cooperation and support; initiative to network all women’s organizations in RS (more then 40 of them) to establish a joint view; the two-day conference; and lobbying of Municipality Berkovici to adopt a package of support – were all directed towards accomplishment of anticipated results.

It is very significant to emphasize that the conference was held in the right moment, when the Law on protection from domestic violence is in preliminary draft phase in RS Ministry of family, youth and sport and it was on the agenda in the third quarter of this year. We also must seize this moment and act fast, so the positive pressure would be placed on relevant ministries to adopt our suggestions. Naturally, this is also related to previously rejected proposals we already sent for Family Act and RS Law on social care, which were rejected by relevant ministries. Our plan is to continue in 2013 with lobbying and meetings in order to be able to agree a joint strategy for operation of the NGO sector and delegates aimed at adoption of our proposals by relevant governmental institutions.

A total number of 62 participants participated on the two-day Conference, which was officially opened by His Excellence, the Ambassador of the USA to BH, Mr. Patrick Moon. Participants were from international organizations/institutions (the Embassy of USA to BH, OSC, the Swedish organization Kvinna till Kvinna), domestic institutions (RS National Assembly, RS Council for Equal Opportunities, RS Ombudsman for Children, RS ministry of Internal Affairs – Centre for Public Safety Trebinje, Municipality Berkovici, County Prosecutor’s Office Trebinje, County Court Trebinje, SIPA, SNSD RS Club of members of Parliament, DNS RS Club of members of Parliament) and local women's organizations („Women’s Forum“ Bratunac, Women’s association „Bridge“ Višegrad, Women’s association „Nature“ Bratunac, „Lara“ Bijeljina, „Women’s Forum“ Milići, „Association of Women“ Vlasenica, Women's association „Podrinje 1 Skelani Srebrenica“, Women’s association “Maja“ Kravica, Women’s association “Podrinje“ Vlasenica, „Your Rights BH“, Women’s association “Šamac“ Šamac, Women’s association “Teodora“ Prijedor) as well as guests from abroad (Office for free legal advice and psychosocial support to victims of domestic violence Beograd, Centre for Social Welfare Valjevo). The first contact with some of them has been established on this Conference (some of the local organizations) but the most important newly established contact is with representatives from the DNS Club of members of Parliament in the National Assembly of the Republic of Srpska because of their future role in lobbying and advocating for proposed legislative changes.

A positive example is Municipality Berkovici where we sent our organization’s proposal to be adopted that funds amounting 2000 BAM should be planned in the municipal budget as noin-return funds for women victims of domestic violence aimed at their self-employment and stimulation for the private sector in form of freeing them from the obligation to pay municipal taxes if they employ a woman victim of domestic violence as part of the economic package intended as economic empowerment of women victims of domestic violence.

Thus, these activities have led to full accomplishment of planned results:

Results of Project objective 1 include:

  • Gathering and joint work of women’s NGOs from the Republic of Srpska on changes and amendments of listed legal acts;

  • Harmonization of views of the NGO sector in RS in terms of necessary changes and amendments in the legislation that treats domestic violence in RS;

  • Development of plan for joint action of the non-governmental sector that works in the field of domestic violence and RS legislation.

Results of Project objective 2 include:

  • Preparation of support packages for women victims of domestic violence, adapted to the local level;

  • Expression of interest for economic support to women victims of domestic violence in one of Eastern Herzegovina municipalities.

Harmonization of joint views of NGOs from the Republic of Srpska working in the field of domestic violence and legislation aimed at planning of joint actions and joint acting in order to contribute to improvement of legislation in RS that treats domestic violence enabled us to prolong the stay of victims of domestic violence in Safe House from 3+3 months to 6+6 months.

These activities enabled us that Municipality Berkovici adopts our proposals for introduction of packages of support for victims of domestic violence on the local level as a pilot project, that includes non-refundable funds for a woman victim of domestic violence as well as empowerment for private business owners if they employ a woman from this category in form of tax exemption.


“16 DAYS OF ACTIVISM”

In the period November 25 to December 15, 2012 the 16 Days of Activism were marked in the frame of which we visited all Eastern Herzegovina municipalities and organized meetings with representatives of institutions/organizations who are signatories of the Contract on Cooperation with our organization. We shared with all of them our activities (e.g. free legal aid and representation in court, SOS help line, counselling), goals and results accomplished but also difficulties that we were facing in 2012 and activities planned for 2013 (e.g. research of effects of existing legislation that treats domestic violence). We also presented everything that happened on the Entity and national level that relates to domestic violence and other forms of violence on women and girls.

Eastern Herzegovina municipalities that we visited include:

- Ljubinje ( participants were Rada Sarenac – Primary school “Sveti Sava” and Ilija Cuk – commander of the Police station Ljubinje; they did not have any registered new cases of domestic violence; representatives suggested that we should organize workshops in schools on topics of violence on women and girls);

- Berkovici (participants were Radmila Colovic – Red Cross Berkovici, Dragan Samardzic – Association of Disabled and Milomir Antunovic – commander of the Police Station Berkovici; they did not have any registered new cases of domestic violence; representatives suggested that we should organize workshops in schools on topics of violence on women and girls);

- Nevesinje ( participants were Savanovic Gordana – Health Centre Nevesinje, Milan Zerajic – Centre for Social Welfare, Pusara Milan – commander of the Police Station and Slavenko Lucic – Police Station; they had one registered case of domestic violence that we were also informed about);

- Gacko (participants were Bosiljka Glusac – Radio Gacko and Branka Miljus – Publis institution Children’s kindergarten; they said that they are ready for any form of cooperation with us);

- Bileca (participants were Javorka Milosevic – Municipality, Mira Vujinovic – Health centre “Sveti Luka”, Boris Radovic – Police Station Bileca and Miodrag Parezanin – Primary school “Sveti Sava”; representative of the police station Bileca told us that there are no new registered cases of domestic violence except for one that we knew about earlier, which is, in addition, also a social case; in communication and discussion with the Director of the Primary school “Sveti Sava” we found out that they are lacking financial resources to be able to engage a speech therapist – we offered them to try to find out how they could receive funds for this);

- Trebinje (participants were Sanjevic Slavko - legal advisor of the Zenski centar, Biljana Andjelic – Red Cross Trebinje, Jovanka Bakmaz – children’s playroom - Ciciban:, Danica Rasovic – Centre for Social Welfare and Spasa Zotovic – Primary school “Vuk Karadzic”; representative of the Centre for Social Welfare made a proposal about education in the field of health protection, education about women’s human rights based on the convention of the European Council that is still not adopted but she hopes that it will be adopted in the next year; benefits of education were discussed (people know each other, they know and on whom they can count); the Law on Protection from Domestic Violence was also discussed (court will have to pronounce to those who were treated due to addiction illnesses obligatory monitoring measure, that the violator or person treated for addiction illnesses will have to do a certain amount of socially useful work);

On meetings in every Eastern Herzegovina municipality, professional burn out has been discussed – the need for mental and physical time off for employees who are permanently exposed to high level of stress.