Women-Domestic Violence, Bosnia & Herzegovina

Women, Social Responsibility Movies

Women-Domestic Violence, Bosnia & Herzegovina

At a secret location in the capital city of Sarajevo, the Green Line Safe House is the last place of refuge for women escaping domestic violence.

On the walls, the art work of their children who come with them, being helped to come to terms with the trauma they’ve just experienced.

SOUNDBITE (Bosnian) Amra Muslic, Green Line Safe House”
“These are messages from the children, hoping their parents will learn to live in peace again.”

Supported by the United Nations Population Fund, UNFPA, this NGO offers a full range of counselling and welfare services for survivors of gender based violence – an increasing problem in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

SOUNDBITE (Bosnian) Amra Muslic, Green Line Safe House:
“We adopt a multi-disciplinary approach for all new residents, with psychologists, social workers and so on.”

Working with key partners in Bosnia and Herzegovina, UNFPA is advocating for legislative reform and enforcement of laws to protect women's rights to reproductive health choices.

A key player in this arena, The Foundation for Local Democracy (FLD), has worked tirelessly to address the issue.

SOUNDBITE (Bosnian) Selma Begic, Foundation for Local Democracy:
“When we started working on this more than ten years ago, the problem wasn’t even known about. Working with other groups, we’ve been changing that, but work still needs to be done, working with the Government and the courts.”

While data is limited, in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, it is believed that as many as one in every three women has been beaten, coerced into sex, or abused in some way - most often by someone she knows, including her husband or another male family member.

SOUNDBITE (Bosnian) Samra Filipovic Hadziabdic:
“In tackling gender based violence, an ever bigger problem is the fragmented and complex government structures that exist in post-war Bosnia Herzegovina. And this extends to collecting reliable data for the scale of the problem.”

And part of the problem has been in applying laws which exist, but are difficult to implement, given the complicated Government and judicial structures that were set up after the war.

SOUNDBITE (Bosnian) Adisa Zahiragic, Association of Women Judges:
“The Gender Equality Law at the state level allows for civil and criminal proceedings in cases of gender based violence. It was adopted back in 2003, but because of various obstacles in applying it, it has hardly been used.”

UNFPA is supporting efforts to bring about change, so the law can provide as much of a refuge for survivors of gender based violence, as this centre.


Language: Bosnian

Year of Production: 2011

Length: 2 mins

Country: Bosnia and Herzegovina


  • Muhamed Sacirbey (UNTV-UNFPA)


  • Susan Sacirbey (UNTV-UNFPA)