Organizations Seek Dignified Treatment of Wartime Sexual Violence Survivors in Kosovo

A large number of people, representatives of civil society and public figures gathered on May 20 in the capital’s square “Zahir Pajaziti” to continue marching in front og the Kosovo Assembly Building, in support and solidarity with wartime sexual violence survivors in Kosovo.  

The organizers of this march were The Kosova Rehabilitation Centre for Torture Victims (KRCT), Kosovo Women’s Network (KWN), Medica Kosova, Medica Gjakova, and Centre for Promotion of Women’s Rights-Drenas, and the organization Justice for All.  

This protesting march arose in response to the publication of a photograph by Member of Parliament, Flora Brovina, and an act which KWN strongly condemned as a violation of the dignity of wartime sexual violence survivors in Kosovo.  

Executive Director of KRCT, Feride Rushiti said that such images belong in court, however parliament is not a place for them. 

“We have gathered here to express anger, deep indignation and to seek responsibility for the images scandal which unfolded in the Kosovo’s Assembly, and also to convey the message of women and men who experienced wartime sexual violence. The survivors need dignity and justice”, she said.  

Director of Medica Gjakova, Mirlinda Sada also demanded for a dignified treatment for the survivors of wartime sexual violence.  

 “This occurrence was a lapse of our work and engagement since post-war to improving the mental and physical health of survivors. Our efforts to provide them access to justice and to integrate them in society have been plagued”, she stated.  

Symbolically activists posted in the fences of the Parliament the slogan “Treat me with dignity”, as well as some images of quotes of sexual violence survivors, among which “Do not use my suffering for your own chair”; “You said No when in Parliament discussed about me”; “My suffering, my confession, weren’t these enough for you?”. 

The march was also supported by a number of other civil society organizations: Kosovar Institute for Policy Research and Development –KIPRED, Kosovar Civil Society Foundation –KCSF, ÇOHU, KLI, IKS, Group for Legal and Political Studies –GLPS, Kosova Democratic Institute-KDI, FOL movement, GAP Institute, D4D Institute, , CRP/K, Youth Initative for Human Rights (YIHR)-Kosovo, INTEGRA, Kosovar Gender Studies Centre- KGSC, Center for Counseling, Social Services and Research– SIT, CLARD, Institute for Protection of Democratic Values– IPDV, Kosovo Women 4 Women, Foundation for Education and Development, Riinvest Institute, Art and Community Centre-Artpolis, CEL Kosovo.