21 May 2018

Women's shelters in Kosovo at the mercy of government whims

Kosovo shelters for victims of domestic violence face financial difficulties that could lead to their permanent closure if the government does not make a proper committment.

Lidija Pisker
Lidija Pisker NewsMavens, Balkans
Women's shelters in Kosovo at the mercy of government whims - NewsMavens
Woman's Hand, Pixabay

Why this story matters:

According to Kosovo laws, it is the responsibility of the country to protect women and children who are victims of domestic abuse. But in practice, it doesn't look like authorities are aware of this. 

International organizations have been supporting local associations in establishing and running shelters for years. But it's time for the country to take over.

The permanent financial sustainability of shelters should not depend on the whims of the government -- it should be a priority. 

The instability of financial support to social services can make women feel unsafe and vulnerable, leading to decisions to return to their violent households. And that makes the rehabilitation of victims much more difficult. 

Details from the story:

  • In January this year, the majority of NGO-run shelters for women and children victims of domestic violence in Kosovo had to temporarily close down due to delays in financial support from the government during winter. 
  • The government allocated emergency funds to shelters in the meantime but no long-term financial commitment was given. Shelters are partially financed by local government, while the rest of the support comes from foreign donors. International donor organizations, however, expect full institutional commitment to protection of victims of domestic abuse. 
  • A new governmental grant program for social service providers requires grantees to secure at least 50% of the overall project budget from other sources. NGOs are worried the new condition might jeopardize the future of their shelters.
  • According to 2015 research by the Kosovo Women's Network, 68 percent of Kosovo women have experienced domestic violence in their lifetime. 
  • This year's analysis of institutional response to gender-based violence conducted by the same network titled "From Words to Action?" reported that insufficient confidentiality, victim-blaming and attempts at family reconciliation remain prevalent in Kosovo. There are legislative instruments for tackling domestic violence, but Kosovo institutions often fail to implement them. 
  • In March this year, an artist group put up three red billboards near Police headquarters in the capital city of Pristina, drawing attention to widespread domestic violence in Kosovo. 
So what DOES happen when women choose the news? - NewsMavens
Gazeta Wyborcza

So what DOES happen when women choose the news?

Zuzanna Ziomecka
Zuzanna ZiomeckaGazeta Wyborcza, Europe
inbox_large_illu Created with Sketch.
Tired of the news media’s prevailing male perspective? We are too.

Get our newsletters composed exclusively by female journalists from all over Europe.

WITH FINANCIAL SUPPORT FROM:
Google DNI
SUPPORTED BY:
Women in news
World Editors Forum
STRATEGIC PARTNERS:
NewsMavens
NewsMavens is a media start-up within Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland's largest liberal broadsheet published by Agora S.A. NewsMavens is currently financed by Gazeta Wyborcza and Google DNI Fund.
Is something happening in your country that Newsmavens should cover?
CORE TEAM
Zuzanna Ziomecka
Zuzanna Ziomecka EDITOR IN CHIEF
Lea Berriault-Jauvin
Lea Berriault Managing Editor
Jessica Sirotin
Jessica Sirotin EDITOR
Ada Petriczko
Ada Petriczko EDITOR
Gazeta Wyborcza, Agora SA Czerska 8/10 00-732, Warsaw Poland
The e-mail addresses provided above are not intended for recruitment purposes. Messages concerning recruitment will be deleted immediately. Your personal data provided as part of your correspondence with Zuzanna,Lea, Jessica and Ada will be processed for the purpose of resolving the issue you contacted us about. The data provided in your email is controlled by Agora S.A. with its registered office in Warsaw Czerska 8/10 Street (00-732). You can find more information about the processing and protection of your personal data at https://newsmavens.com/transparency-policy