Woman carrying a baby on her back


The road to recovery: A Roma Women’s story of hope

Road to Recovery - Sabrina

 “We women are strong. We are capable of everything.” Sabrina Bektasevic, a survivor of violence in Serbia, is proud to be a Roma woman. But she notes that in the Roma community, where she comes from, women are often thought of as worth less than men - part of Serbia’s wider patriarchal culture.
In Serbia, nearly 90% of Roma women have experienced domestic violence. Almost half of these women are unemployed or are unable to find work because of this abuse. 
As part of Sabrina’s recovery from experiences of violence, she engaged in an women’s empowerment and professional training initiative, supported by UN Women, and now owns a hair salon.
“The courses helped me a lot, they gave me confidence, that I can do something by myself, that I can be independent. That I do not have to depend on my husband or on his parents,” says Sabrina.
The experience of violence, and low socioeconomic status, result in extreme vulnerabilities and social isolation among many Roma women. Women who visit Sabrina’s salon confide in her, often sharing their own experience of violence, and Sabrina encourages them to report it.

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UNSILENCED: Stories of Survival, Hope and Activism, is a new docuseries by UN Women, which aims to shed light on the continued magnitude of different forms of violence against women and girls, while also presenting solutions and advocating for more action. Watch UNSILENCED to learn more about Sabrina’s story and those of other survivors across the world.