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UN, Government and Partners Launch Campaign for the Prevention of Domestic Violence

"The Real Man Never Hits a Woman" poster

Skopje,  26 October 2009: The United Nations together with the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy (MLSP) and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands launched today the start of a national media campaign for the prevention of domestic violence.

“A Real Man Never Hits a Woman” is the slogan of the national campaign which is part of a three-year programme, supported by the Dutch Government,  to strengthen national capacities to prevent and address domestic violence, as well as to improve support and protection for victims. 

The public awareness campaign features three well-known athletes - Kiril Lazarov, Artim Shakiri and Primislav Dimovski and aims to break down the stereotypes of men exerting power through violence in the home. 

Speaking at the launch, the UN Resident Coordinator a.i, Mr Sheldon Yett, said “Domestic violence affects every country in every corner of the world, cutting across ethnic and class boundaries.  Too often, and in too many communities in every country in the world, including this one, domestic violence is an issue that is kept in the closet, devastating lives and destroying families.   If we don’t talk about it, we can’t address it.”

The Minister of Labour and Social Policy, Xhelal Bajrami, stressed the government’s commitment to address the issue.  Dutch Ambassador Simone Filippini appealed to everyone to be alert for instances of domestic violence and to do their part and speak out.

Tatjana Sikoska, of the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), emphasised the need to alter the negative stereotypes about masculinity and the relationship between a man and a woman within and outside the family.  According to national statistics, most of the victims of domestic violence are female; as such, the campaign primarily targets the male population.

While incidents of domestic violence are often under-reported, according to the Ministry of Interior, there were 378 criminal acts, 730 offences and 3,671 domestic violence complaints reported in 2008.  According to data collected in 2005 by the State Statistics Office, one in five women in this country believes that their husband or partner is justified in beating them under certain circumstances.

According to research on the spread of domestic violence in the country (conducted by the NGO ESE in 2006), every second woman is a victim of psychological violence, every sixth is a victim of physical violence, and every tenth is a victim of sexual violence in their own home.

The creative development and execution of the campaign was completed pro-bono by the marketing agency Publicis. It includes video and radio spots, an informative brochure, flyers, posters, billboards and advertisements in daily and weekly magazines.  The campaign is also being disseminated e on internet portals and through social media such as Facebook. The campaign’s materials are produced in four languages: Macedonian, Albanian, Turkish and Roma.





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