Opposing Opinions at Premiere of ‘The Silent Scream’ in Banja Luka

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The premiere of “The Silent Scream” documentary produced by BIRN BiH, provoked debate at the screening in Banja Luka on Monday, November 24 2014.

Richard Rogers, expert on International Law and a member of Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative, talking about the International Protocol on Documentation and Investigation of Sexual Violence in Conflict, pointed out three main problems on prosecuting sexual violence crimes.

“The first problem is the lack of criminalization of those acts. The second concern is victims who are scared to talk about what they survived. And the third challenge is gathering evidence of those acts,” he said.

Bozica Zivkovic Railic, from the Association of Women War Victims, who was featured in the film, expressed her deep dissatisfaction with how the victims of Serbian ethnicity are perceived. Along with several people from the audience she stated her discontent with presentation of facts.

Nada Golubovic, president of the “United Women Banja Luka” said that society has to change the discourse when it comes to supporting survivors of sexual violence in the past war.

“We have to be aware that every time when a victim comes to court, that presents re-traumatization, and we have to ensure that they will receive all necessary support,” she said, also expressing that the Protocol is the most important thing that could have happened to the victims.

After Sarajevo, Mostar and Banja Luka, the presentation of the Protocol and film screenings will be organised in Brcko District and Zenica.