Director of the Zagreb Child and Youth Protection Center, professor Gordana Buljan Flander was an expert interlocutor in Dnevnik Nova TV on October 22, 2020, on the occasion of the murder and suicide of a spouse in an apartment in Zagreb’s Susedgrad, who were also the parents of young children. Journalist Domagoj Mikić spoke with the director:


“The conflict between the two spouses ended in murder and suicide. An additional shock to investigators was when they found a colleague from the intervention police at the crime scene. The investigation was led by the Deputy County State’s Attorney from Zagreb. It was established that the police officer who was out of the service first killed his wife and then kill himself. The Zagreb police confirmed that he make the murder with an official weapon. Unfortunately, this is not an isolated case of domestic violence.


Mikic: Police statistics say that in the first nine months of this year, almost forty percent more crimes of domestic violence were recorded. There is nothing better with the statistics of child neglect and violence against children. What kind of society are we becoming, what kind of people are we becoming? What can be the trigger for such a heinous act?


Buljan Flander: What we need to know is that in this crisis, there is an increase in the sale and use of alcohol, increased drug abuse, more sales and purchases of weapons, domestic violence and child abuse, all of which can be factors that, among other risks factors in a pandemic can lead to homicides and suicides. So, we need to recognize the risk factors in time and react in time, and not turn our head to an indication such as threats “I will kill you” or “I will slaughter you” or “I will take revenge on you”.


Mikic: Does this “new normal” leave any traces on all of us?


Buljan Flander: Absolutely, our research shows that 30 percent of people in the pandemic in Croatia are depressed, 40 percent are anxious, and over 50 percent are under intense stress. And so are parents, who come to us very often, and they themselves say that they break more easily, that they have a low threshold of tolerance for frustration, and that they are afraid for their behavior in relation to children.


Mikic: Often children who are themselves victims are witnesses of the final clashes between parents. Why do abusers do this to their children, with what consequences do these children live?


Buljan Flander: Unfortunately, children who witness domestic violence eventually witness the murder of a family member, most often the mother by the father. These are people who really have no empathy for children, if they can abuse their wife in front of children before, the mother of their children. These are people who have no sensitivity to the needs of their children and are absolutely focused on the partnership. They are not interested in children, and of course the consequences for children are long-lasting and severe and very often require professional help.”


Source: Dnevnik Nova TV /


Disclaimer: This is unofficial translation provided for information purposes. Zagreb Child and Youth Protection Center cannot be held legally responsible for any translation inaccuracy.   

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