To mark the 16 days of activism against gender-based violence, the Delegation of the European Union to Montenegro and Europe House, in cooperation with their partners, organised the campaign #ZAPITAJ_SE (Ask Yourself), which is dedicated to this burning social problem. The central part of the campaign is a photo exhibition accompanied by strong psychological messages.
The main target group of the campaign are men and that is why we organised the first showing of the exhibition at the football stadium on 17 November during the Montenegro-Slovakia match, in cooperation with the Football Association of Montenegro.
Photographer and human rights activist Nada Vojinović prepared the photos. Nada explained that she took the photos using the double exposure technique, by combining photos of women with photos of broken objects, conveying the message that the bully sees the person he is abusing as an object and not a human being.
The photos are accompanied by strong psychological messages, created with the help of the Association of Psychologists of Montenegro. Their purpose is to make the viewers question themselves and analyse their internal processes, which can lead to, justify or support violent behaviour. Some of the messages are as follows: that suppressing emotions leads to violence, that violence is not innate but learned, that it is always a conscious choice, that jealousy is not love, that violence shows weakness not manliness, and that supporting the abuser is complicity.
We then moved the exhibition to Europe House, where it was officially opened on 23 November. Ambassador Popa emphasised during her address that both men and women must join forces to change things. Men, specifically, must make an effort to learn more about the problem of gender-based violence, recognise it, condemn it, and support women in this process.
In addition to the photo exhibition, the campaign was also promoted on the social networks of Europe House. You can see the content here.
Gender-based violence still remains a major problem in Montenegro, which requires action and involvement by the whole society. According to the data from the Police Directorate, two more women were killed by their partners this year, while the number of reported crimes related to domestic violence increased by as much as 35%.