The Foundation - Types of Violence - Bosnia-Herzegovina

Domestic violence can no longer be treated as a minor offence in Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina

15.05.2020 / Created by (EMWF)

Thanks to the efforts of Ivanka Markovićpresident of the Council for Combating Domestic Violence, and the civil society organisations working with her, Domestic Violence in Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina will be treated as a criminal act rather than a misdemeanor offence.  

The amendments  to the Law on Protection from Domestic Violence were adopted in September 2019 and are expected to come into force in May 2020. 

From Ivana Marković’s declaration reported by UN Women:

“As a criminal law professor, I have always emphasized the need to improve the legislative protection of victims of domestic violence and to treat this as any other criminal act. I have been advocating for this change in legal interpretation since the adoption of the first Law on Protection from Domestic Violence in 2006, stressing that domestic violence cannot be treated as equal to misdemeanor acts such as walking over grass surfaces or irregular parking.

Although the first Law on Protection from Domestic Violence was amended in 2012, it has kept the same legal interpretation of domestic violence, despite other advancements. This caused confusion in the interpretation of the Law by the police, prosecutors and courts, which resulted in identical cases being interpreted as misdemeanor offences and criminal acts, depending on the situation. This practice inadequately protects victims because the perpetrators of domestic violence often do not consider a misdemeanor sentence to be a serious reaction of the state. It took a great deal of collaboration with various stakeholders, including civil society organizations, to advocate for a new approach to this issue.

The amendments to the law bring about other advancements as well. These include properly informing survivors about their rights, as well as available support and protection services. A so called “person of trust” who would be present with the survivor during relevant procedures was also introduced.

I think that one of the keys to success was the fact that while the revisions were taking place, the Ministry of Family, Youth and Sports, in charge of implementation of the law, was headed by two female ministers who had a deep understanding of domestic violence and its effects on society. Without the support of the government, these changes would not have happened.

It is extremely important for academics to contribute to the public life and offer their knowledge and expertise in creating new solutions. It is clear that not all ideas will be taken on board immediately, but if we are persistent in our efforts and base our ideas on strong arguments, our work will gain traction eventually.”


To write a comment, please, register and exhange with members of the Network

Register with the Foundation

They are registered on the platform of the Euro-Mediterranean Women's Foundation

Master genre et droits des femmes des deux rives de la meditérranée
Libyan Women's Union – Tripoli
Jiwar Creation & Society
University Hassan II Casablanca
Trajectories for Peace and Development
Arab Institute for Human Rights
Le chemin de la dignité
Free Sight Association
Ibtikar for Empowerment and Social Entrepreneurship
Organisation TAMAYNUT
Center for Study and Research on Human Rights and Migration
Department of Gender Studies, Faculty for Social Wellbeing, University of Malta
Women and Gender Unit – Ministry of Social Development
Orbital Endowment Fund
Cooperation for Community Development Association
Association Femme et Citoyenneté
NAWF Women Entrepreneurs
Benaz Batrawi
Europeans Without Borders
EMUI_ EuroMed University
Womenpreneur Initiative
AWARE Services & Consulting
Silvia Gagliardi
União de Mulheres Alternativa e Resposta
Jerusalem Center for Women
Faculty Affiliate, PHRGE, Northeastern College of Law
Donia for Sutsainable Development
Women'  s Centre for Legal Aid and Counselling
Association of Continuity of Generations - ACG
The Children of Female Prisoners' Care Association (CFPA)
Wafa Association for Awareness
Jossour Forum des Femmes Marocaines (Jossour FFM)
Egyptian Center for Women'  s Rights (ECWR)
Space Starting Point (ESPOD)

Subscribe to our Newsletter!

Sign-up for our monthly newsletter and stay updated on the latest content published on our network: news, events, documents, best practices… Don’t miss this opportunity!

Subscribe to our Newsletter!