KWN completed the training cycle on the State Protocol for Handling Cases of Sexual Violence

Kosovo Women’s Network (KWN) completed the training cycle with representatives from four different municipalities on the State Protocol for Handling Cases of Sexual Violence in February. Participants in these training sessions included representatives of the Coordinating Mechanisms Against Domestic Violence from the municipalities of Drenas, Skenderaj, Istog and Klina.

During these training sessions, relevant institutions had the opportunity to become familiar with the protocol as a new document in Kosovo’s legislation, to gain knowledge about the proper implementation of this protocol, and the role of each institution in handing the sexual violence. Participants also had the opportunity to discuss the daily challenges encountered in their work in handling cases of sexual violence. Additionally, discussions were held about social norms that contribute to the prevalence of sexual violence and ways to change this mindset that still tends to blame the victims.

“I am concerned about the fact that in cases of sexual violence, the blame is still being placed on the victims”, said one of the participants from the Municipality of Drenas in the workshop.

Furthermore, participants raised their concerns about the reporting by the media on cases of sexual violence.

“The media is often doing harm because they focus on completely irrelevant details, and can often lead to the disclosure of the victims’ identities”, said another participant from the Municipality of Klina.

It is worth noting that the State Protocol for the Treatment of Cases of Sexual Violence was launched on 5 December 2022 by the Ministry of Justice in cooperation with the Institute of Forensic Medicine, while KWN was responsible for drafting the protocol.

This training is supported by the Canadian Fund for Local Initiatives, in the course of the project “Improving the treatment of sexual violence through advocacy to enhance the legal framework and capacity-building for municipal coordinating mechanisms”, which is being implemented by KWN.