Currently, Albanian society is a battlefield for women’s and girl’s rights. National reports indicate a scary statistic for 2019: In less than two months, every 8 days a a woman was killed.
The first femicide of 2019 was a double murder in Ballsh, Albania. Where the perpetrator killed his wife and her 18-year-old sister. Following this crime, an Albanian father killed his 28-year-old daughter and then hid her body in their garden on Corfu, Greece. At the same time, a man shot at his father-in-law and mother-in-law, while another woman was being killed in Vlore, Albania. During the first days of February, a husband decided to stab his wife with a knife and the last victim recorded was in "Alias", Tirane, where a woman was killed by her husband due to jealousy. Apart from this epidemic of femicides, two girls were subjected sexual abuse and harassment.
All latest headlines in Albania are related to violence against women: "I killed her because she abandoned me"; "I' killed her because I suspected she betrayed me"; "I killed her because she was not mine anymore". These are phrases that Albanian women and girls hear constantly as expressions that “justify” killing them. And these stories are treated as if they were normal!
Civil Society in Albania made their voices heard by demonstrating all over Albania, denouncing domestic violence and specifically sexual abuse, as there was sexual violence perpetrated against two underage girls. Gruaja tek gruaja joined this public campaign together with students of “Luigj Gurakuqi” University, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Department of Psychology and Social work. Under signs that read “ Boys are as responsible for their actions as girls”, “Yes to EDUCATION, NO to RAPE”, “If boys hated rape as much as the menstrual cycle, students and activists marched from the Faculty of Education Sciences to the Municipality of Shkoder, and Police Regional Directorate, where they denounced sexual violence against children as intolerable to our society. Citizens, media and other NGOs brought attention to the importance of Albania’s awareness of false justifications for domestic and sexual violence and the need for engaging all state structures for child protection to encourage the immediate reporting of child sexual abuse to the responsible institutions.
Additionally to the protests, “Gruaja tek Gruaja”, in reaction to allegations that a police officer abused a 15-year old girl, made a public statement making a strong appeal to all state structures to exercise their duties and to end all types of violence against and abuse of children, women and girls. According to the statement, the only way to be true allies is to guarantee the implementation of laws fighting genderbased violence.