On the occasion of the International Day against Violence against Women, on November 25, 2023, a screening of the multi-awarded documentary “Bigger than Trauma” was held in the Aquarium area on the University of Rijeka campus. In addition to the screening of the film, a forum, i.e. a public discussion entitled “Prevention and fight against violence against women and domestic violence” was held on November 30, 2023, also in the “Aquarium” on the Campus of the University of Rijeka.

The film “Bigger than trauma” follows a group of participants in a three-year therapy program who share their life stories, face past traumas and search for healing. After the screening of the film, there was a conversation and gathering with the authors of the film, Vedrana Pribačić and Mirta Puhlovski. The conversation was led by Iva Davorija from SOS Rijeka – Center for Nonviolence and Human Rights, and the authors also answered questions from the audience. Despite the cold winter weather, a large number of members of the University of Rijeka, volunteers, and citizens of Rijeka supported the event with their participation.

The International Day Against Violence Against Women, November 25, is dedicated to spreading awareness about the problem of violence against women. Gender-based violence is one of the most common forms of human rights violations in the world. According to global research, every third woman experiences some form of violence during her lifetime. Wars and conflicts further increase the risk of war crimes directed against women, and traumas leave deep emotional and psychological consequences that require special attention and support from society and the community.

See how the gathering looked during the film screening here.

The forum, i.e. the public discussion entitled “Preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence” was held on the occasion of marking 10 years since the signing and 5 years since the ratification of the Istanbul Convention (Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and violence in family) in the Republic of Croatia.

The following participated in the panel discussion:

  • Gordan Jelenić, vice chancellor for science and art at the University of Rijeka
  • Višnja Ljubičić, ombudsman for gender equality
  • Sandra Krpan, deputy mayor of Rijeka
  • Paula Bogović, Association UZOR Rijeka, Committee for Gender Equality of the Primorje-Gorski Kotar County
  • Štefica Jagić Radja, Committee for Gender Equality of the City of Rijeka
  • Sanja Bezbradica Jelavić, lawyer
  • Iva Davorija, SOS Rijeka Association – Center for non-violence and human rights

The debate was moderated by Sanja Barić, president of the Council for Gender Equality of the University of Rijeka, who concluded that, although there is a tendency to self-criticism, it is necessary to praise all achievements and efforts so far in the field of prevention and fight against violence against women, and to identify areas for further cooperation. As help in solving the problem, she highlighted the clear and informative reports of the ombudsman for gender equality and the GREVIO Report on the implementation of the Istanbul Convention, as well as the implementation of activities within the global campaign “16 days of activism against gender-based violence” whose theme this year is investing in prevention, education, cooperation and quality and meaningful policies. Further efforts to increase the level of education and awareness of personal responsibility are key. A positive step could be achieved through education within the framework of lifelong education for various participants in dealing with gender-based violence, such as the courts and the state attorney’s office, and other legal areas where there is an evident lack of quality practical experience.