The Center E8 continued its activities to mark the Sixteen Days of Activism with the public action “How are you?” conducted on the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, 25 November.
The goals of this public action were to draw the attention of the public and young people to the huge problem of gender-based violence, but also to promote non-violent, healthy relationships, as well as the mental and emotional well-being of young people.
During the action, our young fellow citizens answered questions regarding their attitudes and feelings and spoke openly about what they did when they were furious, angry, or sad, as well as how they felt when someone called them out in the street, or sent unwanted and inappropriate messages. Also, the interviewed young people had the opportunity to express their views on gender-based violence, by answering questions such as “how do you feel when you hear ‘she asked for it’ referring to a victim of violence” or “is there any situation when it is okay for a girl to get slapped?”.
The prevention of gender-based violence and the promotion of the mental health and emotional well-being of young people are important for every member of the society, as everyone has the right to a dignified life in a non-violent environment. According to numerous studies, every third woman in Serbia has suffered physical violence, every second woman has suffered psychological violence, and since the beginning of this year 28 women have been victims of the escalation of domestic violence. According to the “IMAGES Serbia” survey of the Center E8, in one-quarter of emotional relationships there is deliberate intimidation of women, and in one-fifth of relationships there is slapping and throwing objects. As many as ten men in the surveyed sample have a history of forcing women to have sex. Exposure to violence leads to serious consequences that affect the mental health and emotional well-being of young women and men.
The Center E8 implements this activity within the project Young Men Initiative II: “Men and Boys as Partners in Promoting Gender Equality and Addressing Extremism and Violence of Youth in the Western Balkans”, supported by CARE International Balkans, Austrian Development Cooperation and the OAK Foundation.