Pristina, 13 June 2023
The Kosovo Women’s Network (KWN) strongly condemns the recent incident of sexual assault on a minor by her teacher at a school in Deçan. We are deeply concerned and outraged by such a serious breach of the trust and safety of our young girls.
This horrific act of sexual assault serves as a stark reminder that we must prioritize the protection of girls and minors within our society, even within schools.
It is high time that society and institutions take a stand against these crimes and ensure that the perpetrators receive the punishment they deserve, without any compromise.
It is disheartening to see these attacks on girls happening right before our eyes, while institutions often fail to provide justice and adequate preventive measures.
The event in the educational institution where students should feel safe and protected highlights an alarming situation. One cannot help but wonder how many other cases go unreported.
KWN calls on the responsible institutions to treat this case as a matter of high priority, as they should with any other case of sexual harassment and assault.
Schools, in particular, urgently need to establish strong mechanisms to deal with cases of violence, harassment, and sexual assault.
We remind you that in the report “From Laws to Actions: Monitoring the Institutional Response to Gender-Based Violence in Kosovo,” KWN has the following recommendations for the Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation:
- To hold trainings for educators and psychologists on forms of gender-based violence, how to identify the signs of gender-based violence, and how to help refer such cases.
- To include teaching material on equality between women and men, mutual respect, non-stereotypical gender roles, gender-based violence, and how to report it in educational curricula appropriate for different age groups, as envisaged by the Istanbul Convention.
- Allocate sufficient budget for increasing the number of psychologists in schools.
Finally, it is vital to note that as in other cases of gender-based violence, KWN will seek justice and will closely monitor this case and the measures taken. We demand that the perpetrator be dismissed from his job as a teacher and be sentenced according to the Criminal Code of Kosovo, which provides a sentence of 1 to up to 7 years.