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Reaction to the statement of MP Slaven Radunovic

An inappropriate statement following a series of recent severe cases of violence against women

The Bill on Amendments to the Criminal Code proposing stricter prison sentences for crimes against sexual freedom committed against children and the infirm was unanimously supported at the session of the Committee on Political System, Judiciary and Administration.

Slaven Radunović, Member of the Parliament of Montenegro and member of the DF, stated the following:

“We all know – especially those of you who are more seriously dealing with the law, that sometimes a very thin thread judges in deciding whether there was rape or not. For example, a spoiled daughter is jealous of her boyfriend and reports him for rape, so considering whose daughter she is, this young man ends up as a rapist, and could end up castrated! “We need to ensure absolute trust in the judicial system before that, which I don’t have.” Radunovic said.

Violent and condemnatory communication is something that we unfortunately encounter on a daily basis and social networks are flooded with comments questioning whether a victim of rape or gender-based violence is really telling the truth. Instead of expressing compassion and solidarity as a representative of all citizens, MP Radunović supports the condemnatory narrative and prejudices about the so-called false reporting of rape, which obscures the fact that these crimes are rarely reported and that victims are often silent because of the social stigma they are still facing today. When such extremely insensitive statements are given by those who occupy parliamentary seats and whose duty is to represent the interests of all citizens, including women, and even victims of rape, the problem becomes incomparably bigger.

This statement is particularly dangerous and inappropriate after a series of serious cases of violence against women, in which 2 women were killed, a girl was seriously injured and the father of one of the victims was seriously injured, showing that institutions’ representatives, like MP Radunovic do not trust women when they report that their lives are under threat.

We remind him and other decision-makers that they have a duty to combat violence against women and to contribute to creating a social climate that will encourage women and girls to report crimes and to speak out about violence without fear of condemnation and distrust of those who have a duty to protect their interests, both in parliament and elsewhere.

The fact that we have to point out to MPs that such rhetoric constitutes discrimination, and thus a violation of the Code of Ethics for MPs, reveals the lack of oversight over its implementation.

Therefore, we call on the Chairman of the Assembly, the Collegium of the Chairman of the Assembly, presidents of parliamentary clubs and all deputies to report such statements to the Committee on Human Rights and Freedoms, in order to begin issuing public reprimands for the increasingly frequent misogynistic rhetoric coming from the parliamentary benches.

NGO “Women’s Rights Center”

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