Campaign to mark 25 November – International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women – beginsThe main event marking 25 November - International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, held in Nova Gorica, was attended by Minister of the Interior Katarina Kresal, Deputy Director General of the Police Tatjana Bobnar and other Police representatives, including top athletes employed with the Police Natalija Gros, Simon Hočevar and Rok Drakšič, representatives of the NGO alliance Zveza za nenasilje and mayor of Nova Gorica Matej Arčon, who distributed promotional material – ribbons and pamphlets – to passers-by and spoke about the importance of reporting domestic violence.
The event continued with a discussion at the Municipality of Nova Gorica building. The opening speakers were Minister of the Interior Katarina Kresal and Nova Gorica mayor Matej Arčon, and the participants included Janko Mencinger, a representative of the Nova Gorica Police Directorate, Milena Brumat, Director of Karitas Samarijan humanitarian institute, Katjuša Popovič, President of Društvo Ključ NGO, Majda Pušnar, regional coordinator for domestic violence at the Nova Gorica Social Work Centre, and Katja Zabukovec Kerin, President of the Association against Violent Communication, who hosted the discussion.
In her address Minister Katarina Kresal said: "Some time ago, there was no domestic violence as far as the public was concerned, it was not discussed and it seemed it really did not exist. But domestic violence and violence against women has existed since the beginning of society. Our achievement is that we are now aware of it, have started talking about it and thinking hard about measures to prevent it."
The Minister added that during this term the Ministry of the Interior has made domestic violence one of its priorities for the first time. They especially became aware of the specific nature of this problem after numerous discussions with NGOs, which have made an enormous effort to raise public awareness about this issue.
"It is a real social problem, which requires a lot of attention. The Ministry of the Interior and the Police have been dedicating a lot of attention to this issue and I am very pleased when NGOs tell me that the Police have made a giant step forward in the last years. This is a result of additional training of police officers, better understanding of the problem and empathy, which inevitably results in a totally different treatment," said the Minister and added that "we must bear in mind that silence is a partner in crime. If we look away when we know there is violence somewhere and do not report it, there will only be more of it." Thus the Ministry of the Interior prepared an extensive campaign last year, attempting to tell people how important it is to ring 113 and report violence. It is the only way to start eliminating violence.
The Minister also said that in future we have to achieve more coordinated cooperation of all sectors that are important in this area, i.e. education, health, labour, and particularly social work centres.
Earlier that same day activists of Zveza za nenasilje visited the coastal municipalities, where they prepared similar events in Piran, Izola and Koper. According to Katja Zabukovec Kerin, President of the Association against Violent Communication, "this is one of Slovenian regions that have only just established the cooperation between NGOs and local community in this area".