Okrugli stolovi

Međunarodna konferencija
XVII DANI PRIMENJENE PSIHOLOGIJE
- Psihologija u funkciji dobrobiti pojedinca i društva -

SEXUAL VIOLENCE AT THE UNIVERSITIES IN SERBIA:
RAISING AWARENESS AND DEVELOPING INNOVATIVE MECHANISMS OF VICTIM SUPPORT - CHALLENGES AND SO FAR RESULTS


Vesna Nikolić-Ristanović, Victimology Society of Serbia and Faculty of Special Education and Rehabilitation, University of Belgrade
Sanja Ćopić, Victimology Society of Serbia and Institute of Criminological and Sociological Research
Jasmina Nikolić, Victimology Society of Serbia
Anita Burgund Isakov, Faculty of Political Sciences, University of Belgrade
Ivana Janković, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Niš
Bojana Bodroža, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Novi Sad
Aleksandra Avramović, Faculty of Drama Arts, Belgrade

Research globally shows high levels of sexual violence (SV) at universities, which encompasses a wide range of acts: verbal comments and requests, non-verbal displays, quid pro quo acts, unwanted physical contact and rape. It has serious consequences for mental and physical health of students, including their academic achievements. Few studies in Serbia suggest that SV is present at the universities, but this topic is still under-researched. Serbian universities are often underequipped to recognize SV and provide support to victims; consequently, students are not encouraged to report and seek assistance. In order to raise awareness about SV at the universities and better equip Serbian universities to prevent and tackle cases of SV and support victims, Victimology Society of Serbia implement the project Sexual violence at the universities in Serbia: Raising awareness and developing innovative mechanisms of victim support. The project consists of two parts: research aimed at gathering data on extent and nature of SV against students at the universities and existing university policies and care pathways, and evidence-based intervention aimed at building capacity of university staff for proper response to SV cases, strengthening existing policies and practices at the universities related to SV, and establishing cooperation among universities and victim support services in order to secure timely support for victims. Research was conducted online from March to May 2021 on a sample of 1597 students in four university centers in Serbia. Data on students’ experiences of SV victimization, their awareness about SV and existing mechanisms for assistance and support were collected. The aim of the round table is to present the project, and to focus on so far challenges and results through sharing experiences in data collection, some methodological issues and preliminary research findings, as well as challenges in developing and applying mechanisms for addressing cases of SV against students.

Keywords: sexual violence; universities; students; research; evidence-based policy; Serbia