None of them completed education, none of them were able to get a job, so their life passed totally marked by this traumatic event.” It’s often not until the women receive some sort of financial compensation for their trauma and they are no longer economically dependent on their husbands that they feel strong enough to speak out for the first time.The women who find the courage still often face a culture of shame but they have a much greater chance of starting the healing process.Of the tens of thousands of these abuses just a handful of men have been found guilty in the last two decades.Branka believes much of that is due to a lack of political appetite: “Justice is so difficult to achieve, especially now that we have three divided political parties.“None have met their fathers nor have any of the men admitted what they did.If the rapist was to recognise the child he would recognise the crime and if that were the case he would be brought to court and sentenced for his crime.She says some of the women have tracked the perpetrators down on Facebook. One of my women knows the man’s birthday and the names and ages of his kids.” Branka treats some who had children from their rapes.One gave her baby up for adoption as soon as he was born but took him back when he turned seven. “She was beating the child every day,” Branka explains.
It was 6pm on the when Serbian soldiers attacked her Bosnian village in Brcko District, burnt down hers and many of her neighbours’ homes and took her to a forest. Another guy grabbed him shouting, ‘What are you doing?For the vast majority of the victims, the abuse is then compounded by a second trauma.“Ninety-five percent of the women are now victims of domestic abuse,” says Branka, “because their husbands cannot accept what happened to their wives.We gave her psychological counselling but she beat the child one minute out of hatred and the next she would be crying out of remorse. Now the child is grown up and she’s finally a good mother.They’re at a point where they accept each other and their lives.” But, according to the doctor, the men who fathered these children know nothing of them.