December 26, 2020

The Last Tunnel – Stories of the Unforgotten

Femicide is a negative phenomenon that, unfortunately, is encountered pretty often in our country.

In the news and news outlets we hear about cases of family violence, domestic violence, and most harsh- murders. Usually the victims are the wives and daughters, or other members of the family. The high rates of these reports are alarming, but what is even more worrying is the lack of action taken by relevant institutions and their neglect towards these cases. YMI partner organization, SIT – Centre for Counseling, Social Services and Research within the 16 Days of Activism has organised “The Last Tunnel” exhibit that showcases the stories of these women and girls, aiming to raise awareness of the people and the institutions on the Prishtina city centre -. Ibrahim Rugova square.

Were there any warning signs? 

Most victims were subject to systematic violence of their murderers. They had reported ( some multiple times ) their perpetrators to the police. For one reason or another the perpetrators came back to them, and the violence worsened; these perpetrators became their murderers. This neglect towards the victims is reflected in the reluctance of reports from other victims. 

Who?

Her husband, father, cousin. From the 13 stories put on the exhibit these were the murderers. People close to the victims.

When?

Some of the victims spent years together with their murderers. They had been married for a long time, the murderer was their father, for some it was just the beginning of the marriage. 

How? 

These murders were bloody. Firearms, knives, metallic rods, axes were used to commit them. Oftentimes the murderers continued to shoot or hit even after their victims were dead. 

What is happening with their case? 

Some of the murderers are in custody, some in prison, some still on trial, but there are also those who are on the run, or have not yet been tried for their crimes. Something to keep in mind is that often the sentence is really short- a total miscarriage of justice. 

Through the exhibit SIT tried to answer these questions, not the question “Why?” which, in most cases, is the one question asked when these cases are reported. Violence can not be justified. 

At the end of the exhibit, everyone had a chance to sign the “Public Commitment” and vow to be active against violence towards women and girls. This declaration will be sent to the Parliament of Kosova, hoping that measures will be taken and such cases will never happen anymore. 

The Last Tunnel exhibition is implemented by SIT within 16 Days of Activism and supported by UN Women Kosovo, UNFPA Kosovo, Care International Balkans, the Austrian Development Agency and the Oak Foundation.

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