"Domestic Violence and Trafficking in Women in Albania"
Grant in Aid of Research
Final Report: "As a result of the funding from the UW-Green Bay Research Council, I was able to conduct research regarding domestic violence in the Southeast European country of Albania. While in the country, I partnered with two local activists and scholars to better understand the lack of efforts from governmental officials in addressing the issues of domestic violence. One in three Albanian women is a victim of domestic violence. From my somewhat limited analysis at this point the response of the NGO-s has been more than satisfactory in terms of helping the victims and assisting the women who identify themselves as victims. The problem is that the government is not doing enough in enforcing the laws when it comes to violence in the family. The police officers and judges are not trained on gender issues and are reluctant to enforce the law. The lack of punishment allows domestic violence to become a prevalent problem in the country, one that is considered more of a private issue rather than a public concern in need of governmental action. While the NGO-s have tried to sensitize the public with pamphlets, informational meetings, protests etc., a much larger focused campaign is needed to point out that “the private is public.” What happens in the home, if it concerns violence, must be addressed by the legal authorities. Until formal governmental structures recognize their role in this targeted violence against women in the country, horrendous crimes will continue to be part of the Albanian reality. International Organizations such as the UN and the European Union have funded different initiatives to raise awareness but at times they lack legitimacy and recognition from the citizens, especially in the rural areas. A research paper coming out of this field work will be presented at the European Conference on Politics and Gender in Barcelona, Spain on March 22, 2013."