Four of ten women in Bosnia and Herzegovina experienced mental, physical or sexual violence, according to a study by the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).
Results of the study, which was conducted in 2018 in seven OSCE member states, showed that three of five women in Bosnia finds the violence against women an ordinary behaviour in their communities. Four of ten surveyed women said they went through a mental, physical or sexual violence after the age of 15 and that they were targeted either by their partners or other persons.
Nearly half of the surveyed women believe that domestic violence is a private thing and more than 40 percent of them is not sure of what should they do if they become a victim of violence.
According to the study, most of the women never report violence due to, as they said, shame, material dependence, lack of information, lack of trust for competent institutions and fear, as the main reasons.
Over 15,000 women were subject of the survey that was carried out in Albania, Bosnia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, Moldavia, Ukraine and Kosovo. In Bosnia only, 2,321 women aged between 18 and 74 answered the questionnaire.
Bosnia currently has nine safe houses of which six are scattered across the Federation (FBiH) entity and three in Republika Srpska (RS), where victims undergo treatments and are allowed to stay there up to six months.