Photo: Sanja Vrzić
She was born in Zvornik municipality, where she still lives. She survived the detention camp, sexual harassment, being a refugee. Together with her husband, a disabled war veteran, she reconstructed their house, which had been burned to the ground, and restored their family life. She bravely faced the criminals by testifying as an unprotected witness before the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague. She is a proud mother and grandmother.
Anđa used to work at the factory Vezionica in Zvornik. She got married at the beginning of 1992. When the war started, she was pregnant. She was taken prisoner during the conflicts around her village in September 1992. She was first detained in Bajrići, and then in Cerska. Almost every night meant that she would be taken out to be raped. She survived an abortion at the detention camp, without any medical assistance. A neighbour of Anđa, who was a Bosniak and a guard there, stopped her torture by removing the rapist from the detention unit. Next to her, there were her male colleagues and detainees, who died from the consequences of physical torture. She was the only woman among them. She was transferred from Cerska to a prison in Srebrenica, where she waited for an exchange as a hope for salvation, together with other women and children. She was exchanged on March 6, 1993. When she left the detention camp, she met her husband, who was recovering from serious wounds he sustained on the same day on which she was detained. They continued living as refugees in Mali Zvornik. Her husband was able to stop using crutches and start walking in 1996. They got three children, twin daughters and a son. She returned to her house, which had been burned down, and reconstructed her pre-war household in 2000. She testified before the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2007 and the criminal who abused her was convicted to a six-year prison sentence. She also testified before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague.
Her husband and children, who know that she had been raped, are her greatest supporters in the fight for justice and truth. Her daughters and her son are proud of their mother’s courage to speak openly about the detention camp and sexual violence she was subject to. They help her overcome days on which she feels that she has been abused by everyone without ever getting any help and compensation from the society for the torture she survived.
„I would like us, those women who have had similar experiences, to meet more frequently. It gets easier when we talk to each other. Sometimes we also joke and heal each other’s pain… And I would not wish anyone, not even the worst enemy, or any woman, to experience what I have experienced…”
FRAGMENT OF THE PAST
”I have been keeping the yellowish discolored copy of the 2007 ruling, in which the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina sentenced one of the abusers, following his guilty plea, to a six-year prison sentence. The ruling is a small symbol of justice and truth, al-though no prison sentence can compensate and heal the horrors, pain and humiliation I survived.”