25 September 2015 Participants of the roundtable

25 September 2015 Participants of the roundtable

Friday, 25 September 2015

Results of First National Study on Sexual Abuse of Children in Serbia

The Women’s Parliamentary Network and the Incest Trauma Centre – Belgrade co-organised a roundtable dedicated to the presentation of the results of the first National study on the social problem of sexual abuse of children in the Republic of Serbia.


Opening the roundtable, Dubravka Filipovski, the chairing member of the Women’s Parliamentary Network, said the chief objective of the presentation of the study is to point out that sexual abuse of children in Serbia does exist, how widespread it is and how prepared the society and individuals are to draw attention to it. She also spoke of the successful cooperation between the Women’s Parliamentary Network and the Incest Trauma Centre, launched in 2013, which resulted in the Women’s Parliamentary Network submitting the Incest Trauma Centre’s amendment to the Criminal Code stipulating no statute of limitation for sexual crimes. Filipovski said that the Women’s Parliamentary Network has been supporting the Incest Trauma Centre since the very beginning in the campaign “1 to 5” against the sexual abuse of children.

Dusica Popadic, Director of Incest Trauma Centre – Belgrade, shared the findings of the first National study on the social problem of sexual abuse of children. The research, conducted with children between 10 and 18 years of age showed that four children in every class in Serbia have experienced some type of sexual abuse, and four more know somebody who has had such an experience. It is important to note that elementary school children first speak to their parents, and high-schoolers, if they decide to speak to someone, chose a friend. Out of the two thirds of children who tell about the sexual abuse they experienced, more than half do not do anything about it, while only 7% report it to the authorities.

Tim Cartwright, Head of the Council of Europe Mission, commended the speedy adoption of the Lanzarote Convention - Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse, in the Republic of Serbia. He also stressed that just the fact that the Convention had been ratified does not guarantee the protection of children or a solution to the problem, it just provides the necessary legal framework, and it needs to be implemented and continuously supervised and controlled by the relevant institutions.

Dr Ljiljana Bogavac, Deputy Director of Incest Trauma Centre – Belgrade, and Matthew McVarish, promoter of the fight against sexual abuse of children, himself a victim of sexual abuse, also spoke at the roundtable. On 26 September 2015, as part of Matthew McVarish’s visit, “Stop the Silence” campaign will organise a “walk of pride”.



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