Kosovo rape victim fights for justice 

Fearing social stigma, most survivors of wartime sexual violence in Kosovo prefer not to reveal their traumas. But one woman decided to speak up. 

Lidija Pisker
Lidija Pisker NewsMavens, Balkans
Kosovo rape victim fights for justice  - NewsMavens
Vasfije Krasniqi Goodman. Youtube

Why this story matters:

Vasfije Krasniqi Goodman was the first Kosovo woman to publicly share her story of wartime rape. It was a breakthrough that helped other victims to open up. 

"I feel stronger myself. At times I want to cry, but I think of her and I regain my strength. She took such a step forward and this is what has given us courage and made us speak," one survivor told Kosovo 2.0.

In a conservative society like Kosovo, few women dare speak about their traumatic experiences. Ashamed, many of them continue to suffer in silence.

By bringing the topic of sexual violence out in the open, Krasniqi Goodman empowered other victims. Her interview also led to a new investigation into her unsuccessful legal battle. 

Details from the story:

  • In a TV interview for Kosovo's public broadcaster in October 2018, 36-year-old Vasfije Krasniqi Goodman spoke about being raped twice by a Serbian police officer and a non-uniformed man in April 1999. She was 16 years old at the time.
  • Despite the fact that she identified the two perpetrators, the courts declared the accused not guilty, according to Kosovo 2.0. 
  • Civil society criticized the handling of the trial. Kosovo's Humanitarian Law Center has claimed that the trial carried out irresponsibly, according to a BIRN report.  
  • An investigation into the case has been reopened by Special Prosecutor Drita Hajdari after the public appearance of Krasniqi Goodman on Radio Television of Kosovo. 
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