| Distributed by CroatianWorld
According to the statistics from 2002, in Croatia, the police receive reports of family violence every hour and a half. In 98% of all cases the victims are women and it is estimated that for every report there are at least five unreported cases www.crowmagazine.com/decemb02.htm
In New York City, all crime is decreasing except rape! In the United States each year, an estimated 3.3 million children are exposed to violence by family members against their mothers.
In Croatia, the state has not yet provided shelters for women and children who are victims of family violence. Laws exist, but they are not implemented, as they should be, so the victims are mainly left to their own resources. The Autonomous Women's House Zagreb, the oldest shelter for abused women in Eastern Europe is registered as a non-governmental organization. It opened in June 1992 and it only has 10 beds for women and 19 for children. In its 13 years of existence, the shelter has helped over 15,000 women from all over Croatia.
On Thursday, February 13, 2003 the not for profit group called V-DAY will hold a fundraiser in New York City showing a documentary of "Until the Violence Stops" http://www.vday.org Dinner, music and dancing with a festive dress, the V-DAY color is red with celebrities such as Jane Fonda, Oprah Winfrey, Eve Ensler, Glen Close, Marisa Tomei, Isabella Rossellini, Susan Sarandon, Whoopi Goldberg and many others. V-DAY is a global movement to stop violence against women and girls. V-DAY generates broader attention for the fight to stop worldwide violence against women and girls including rape, battery, incest, female genital mutilation and sexual slavery. It promotes creative events to increase awareness, raise money, and revitalize the spirit of existing anti-violence organizations. V-DAY provides funding, including $30,000 to the Center for Women War Victims in Zagreb http://www.czzzr.hr/eng/index.html
B.a.B.e. is a Women's Human Rights Group working in Croatia. The word "Babe" (Bah-beh) in Croatian also means "old hag," a pejorative term for an old woman. The women of B.a.B.e. want to give new meaning to this ugly name that is used against women. Therefore, B.a.B.e. Budi aktivna, Budi emancipirana or Be active, Be emancipated. http://www.babe.hr/eng/menu.htm
The increasing violence against women in Croatia has partially resulted from the militarization of society due to the war (1991-1995). The after-war period is also characterized by an increased number of people who had unregistered weapons. For example, B.a.B.e. had a call from a woman from a suburb, whose husband threw at her a hand-grenade, called "kinder egg", and almost killed her.
Nevenka Sudar, Zagreb
Katarina Tepesh, New York City