The final conference of the project “Increasing universal access to services for prevention and response to gender-based violence for women who use drugs” implemented by the NGO Re Generation with the strategic support of the Office for Combating Drugs Government of the Republic of Serbia was held at the Club of Deputies in Belgrade on May 20, 2021.
The project aims to map stakeholders and partners in response to gender-based violence against women who use drugs, in order to improve access to social health and legal care services for these vulnerable groups, to whom this service is difficult or completely inaccessible. The project also points to the need to legally regulate the position of women who use drugs and who have suffered violence.
During the implementation of the project, the results of research conducted within the project “Sexism Free Night”, showed that out of 309 women surveyed, 95% use alcohol, 77% use marijuana, while so-called club drugs such as amphetamine, and cocaine was used at least once by more than 30% of respondents. Out of 309 women, 25 of them experienced rape with the use of physical force or attempted rape, while 52 respondents experienced rape without the use of physical force or experienced attempted rape.
In cases of violence, women who use drugs usually turn to friends for help, and many often do not ask for help because: they are not sure what really happened (50 women), feelings of shame (36 women), fear that someone will find out they used drugs (14).
The project also resulted in the publication of a document on “Working with women who use drugs in cases of violence” whose guidelines are intended for civil society organizations, social work centers and all those who directly or indirectly deal with topics in the field of drugs and violence, in order to provide equal access to the services needed to respond to related problems.