“I do not provoke, I just dress that way” is one of the five strong messages recently published on billboards in Podgorica, Niksic, Zabljak, Budva, and Bijelo Polje to draw attention to the problem of sexual violence in Montenegro. These messages are created under the project “Let’s Bring Light to the Darkness of Sexual Violence,” implemented by SOS Telephone Niksic, Safe Women’s House Podgorica, and the NGO Prima Podgorica, funded by the European Union. The aim is to increase the public’s awareness of sexual violence against women, as well as the most common prejudices associated with sexual violence and motives for sexual violence against women.
On the billboards, there are photos /stickers that draw attention to the existence of sexual violence in Montenegro and to the fact that sexual violence can happen to anyone and everyone.
“We also want to point out once again the importance of reporting sexual violence, and that our three organisations are there for all women, girls, and children who have experienced sexual violence and who are in need of help and support,” the organisers said.
They also recalled the results of a research that found that 91% of women were raped by a known and close person, and that only 20 cases of rape were reported. Most often, sexual violence is not reported due to feelings of shame, condemnation within the environment, and distrust in the institutions.
As part of the project “Let’s Bring Light to the Darkness of Sexual Violence,” which began in May 2018, other activities were implemented: public actions, open days, and educational workshops on sexual violence in kindergartens and youth centres.