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She was daring the devil

Important advice for victims of violence against women – what to do and who to turn to?

Violence against women in the family or workplace is a problem that is talked about a lot today, but little is done about it. It’s sad to hear that Croatia is among the three countries in the European Union with the highest number of murdered women per capita. The murder of a woman is mostly the culmination of years of violence that begins with psychological abuse, insults, and taking control of the partner’s psyche and finances, and continues with physical violence. One blow usually never remains the last. At the moment when the partner uses force, the woman is already mentally and emotionally trapped and unable to leave. Witnesses often lacks understanding and does not want to get involved, and prejudices and cynical comments about women who “daring the devil” certainly do not encourage anyone to seek protection.

Because of all of that, if you are a victim of violence in Croatia:

  • Report the violence to the police.
  • Don’t blame yourself for not leaving earlier or not reporting it earlier.
  • Seek advice from one of the free helpline numbers for assistance:
  • Women’s Counseling Center: 0800 55 44
  • Telephone for Victims of Sexual Violence: 01 6119 444
  • Women’s Aid Now: 0800 655 222
  • SOS Telephone for Victims of Human Trafficking: 0800 77 99 SOS
  • Helpline for Women:
    • Karlovac – 047 600 392
    • Pakrac – 034 411 780
    • Poreč – 052 452 746
    • Rijeka – 051 211 888
    • Sisak – 044 888 888
    • Slavonski Brod – 035 449 180
    • Split – 021 537 272
    • Vukovar – 032 414 910
    • Zadar – 023 332 059
  • Seek psychosocial support, legal advice, and accommodation in a shelter.

Important: The most dangerous moment for a woman is when she leaves the abuser, so it is important to prepare well. It usually takes years for a woman to gather the courage to report and leave. No, it won’t get better. No, he won’t change for the better. People only change if they want to themselves, with psychosocial support. When you decide to leave the cycle of violence and immediately leave the abuser, don’t forget to take with you:

  • Items that are exclusively your personal belongings
  • Official documents (passport, yours and your children’s health insurance cards, ID card, marriage certificate, property ownership documents, children’s birth certificates, school records, and any other necessary documents)
  • Necessary medications
  • Keys
  • Money
  • Essential clothing and footwear
  • Your child’s favorite toy, school bag, and books.

You can find important advice for victims of violence on the Ministry of Interior’s website (on Croatian): –> HERE

You can find a well-made brochure with tips here (Croatian): –> HERE