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The Zagreb center for women war victims

03 / 1994

"The center for women war victims was founded in 1992 by women from feminist and anti-war movements. It is a non-governmental and independent organization whose objective is to offer refugee women of all origins psychological, social, legal and humanitarian aid. Especial attention is given to rape victims.

About thirty women participate in the center’s projects; a third of them are refugees themselves. They work in thirteen illegal camps located around Zagreb in which 40 to 60,000 people are crammed (80% are women and children), half of them Bosnian and half Croatian. Volunteers organize mutual aid groups in which refugees that have suffered serious traumas can express their suffering.

In spite of their sometimes terrible living conditions, many refugees display remarkable courage to recreate an atmosphere conducive to living. The dialogs in the discussion groups help the Croatians and Moslems, between whom much hostility exists, to overcome their feelings and commit themselves towards good understanding and equal justice for all.

The center for women war victims works under difficult conditions. The police sometimes make raids in search for "criminals and deserters", and adolescents and women are occasionally taken away.

The center’s objectives

* stop the war, close the detention camps, and permit the refugees to return home;

* supply medical assistance to the camps: hygiene, psychosomatic problems, hospitalizations, etc.;

* find solutions to the legal problems related to the refugees’ status;

*set-up shelters for the refugees and their children;

* make rape recognized as a war crime with judgement of the guilty by female courts;

* obtain the judgement of criminals and those responsible for war atrocities in order to permit the victims to return to normal life in their districts;

Lastly, we want to make it known that we seek Justice, not vengeance.

Key words

woman, history, collective memory, injustice, women’s organization, woman and violence, refugee, war victim, refugee camp

, Croatia, Zagreb


SOLMA is a group of women from the whole world active in the transformation of the relations between human beings, so that children and young people can get an education based on solidarity, liberty, equality, respect of environment and defence of human rights, which shows the way to peace and coexistence. This sheet summarizes a speech made at the International Meeting of Mothers held on March 27th to 31st 1994 at Paris. Contact : CENTER FOR WOMEN WAR VICTIMS, Dorcéva 6, 41000 ZAGREB. Tel. (385-41)434.189. Fax. (385-41)433.416. Original in French in this data base.


Organisation presentation ; Colloquium, conference, seminar,… report

BELIC, Martina, BORIC, Rada

SOLMA (Solidarité avec les Mères de la Place de Mai) - 18 rue Nollet, 75017 Paris, FRANCE - Tél. 33 (0)1 43 87 59 00 - Fax 33 (0)1 42 94 09 86 - France

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