Serbia has ratified the Council of Europe ‘Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence’ in November 2013.
While there is no specific law criminalising domestic violence
, it is a criminal offence in Serbia, under Article 194 of the Criminal Code. Domestic violence is also covered under the Family Law and the Law on Gender Equality., 
The Criminal Code defines a perpetrator of domestic violence as someone who ‘by use of violence, threat of attacks against life or body, insolent or ruthless behaviour endangers the tranquillity, physical integrity or mental condition of a member of his family’.
A more comprehensive definition is found in the Family Law, which includes sexual, physical, psychological, and verbal violence, as well as restrictions on freedom of movement and communication as domestic violence.
Under the Criminal Code, penalties for domestic violence are a fine or up to 12 months imprisonment or up to eight years imprisonment if the violence results in serious injury, or is directed at a child under 14.
Under the Family Law, courts can issue restraining orders, banning the perpetrator from approaching the victim or her place of work, and ordering him to leave the family home. 
Violation of a restraining order can result in imprisonment.
The National Strategy for Prevention and Elimination of Violence Against Women in the Family and in Intimate Partner Relationships adopted in 2011 envisages the establishment of a comprehensive mechanism for the prevention of, and protection from, violence against women, that promotes multi-sectorial cooperation, specialised services, and a system of measures to ensure protection and support for victims of violence.
Also in 2011, a general protocol on procedures and cooperation between institutions, agencies and organisations in situations of domestic violence was adopted.
Information included in a shadow report submitted to the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) Committee in 2012 by PRAXIS and the European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC) indicates that the laws on domestic violence are not adequately implemented in practice. For instance, despite the fact that the law requires that domestic violence cases be considered urgently by the courts, there are often significant delays (averaging six months) between the registering of criminal charges and the public prosecutor beginning an investigation. In addition, courts appear reluctant to imprison people convicted for domestic violence, instead opposing suspended sentences. Out of 54 cases represented by PRAXIS, only one resulted in a prison sentence.
A report on Serbia’s progress towards EU integration notes that as of 2012, the action plan for the implementation of the National Strategy had yet to be adopted.
Roma women in particular face barriers to accessing support services, according to the Organisation for Social Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Special Representative and the European Union (EU) progress report., 
It appears that women do not routinely report domestic violence. Data in the World Development Report
for 2012 indicates that among women living in urban areas, while 23% of women surveyed had experienced physical violence, just 3% had sought help from outside services. Reasons cited for not reporting included fear of the consequences, fear that the woman might lose her children, embarrassment or shame, belief that violence is normal and not serious, and a perception that police will not investigate unless the abuse is fatal.
Research by UNDP found that women in rural areas were more likely to say that domestic violence was a private matter that should not be shared with anyone ( 7.6% of rural women as opposed to 2.8% of urban women), and less likely to approach an outside institution for help (73.7% of rural women as opposed to 81.4% of urban women).
According to USAID, research conducted by NGOs found that incidence of domestic violence is highest in families where men have returned from participating in the war, and where a husband / partner earns less money than the woman.
The Women Against Violence Europe (WAVE) network notes an overall lack of official data in regard to violence against women cases.
The Praxis / EERC report states that in consultation with public prosecutors, police usually file domestic cases as misdemeanour rather than criminal charges, except in cases where the violence has resulted in significant injury. This has the effect of minimising such violence, and reinforcing the idea that it is a ‘private’ matter. The report also notes a general lack of sensitivity among police and other service providers in dealing with women and children affected by domestic violence.
According to the OSCE Special Representative, Roma women’s rights NGOs reported that police often display an ‘informal acceptance’ of domestic violence within Roma communities, and fail to provide women with assistance.
is a criminal offence in Sebia.
It is also specifically named as a war crime and a crime against humanity.
The language used in the Criminal Code is gender neutral, meaning that rape against men can also be prosecuted, and that women can be prosecuted as perpetrators.
The definition of rape does not specifically include spousal rape. However, amendments to the Criminal Code in 2002 removed a clause that defined rape as forced sexual intercourse ‘outside of matrimony’.
There is nothing in the Criminal Code to indicate that a perpetrator can escape prosecution by marrying the victim.
The penalties for rape are between two and 18 years’ imprisonment, depending on the age of the victim, the number of perpetrators, and the level of violence used.
The US Department of State’s human rights report notes that women’s rights advocates believed that sentences in rape convictions were often lenient.
In her report, the OSCE Special Representative notes that sexual violence remains a hidden problem in Serbia.
The US Department of State human rights report notes that many women do not report rape because of fear of reprisals or humiliation in court. 
In 2010, 115 cases of rape were registered, resulting in 58 convictions.
Results of a survey reported by UNDP found that 3.8% of women said they had experienced sexual violence from an intimate partner at some point in their lives.
Research conducted among young people found that 17% of boys thought that sexual violence was the result of women’s ‘inappropriate’ behaviour.
In 2010, a specific law was introduced addressing sexual harassment
(Law on the Prevention of Harassment in the Workplace)., 
Sexual harassment is also addressed under the Labour Code (Article 18) and the Law on Gender Equality, and the Criminal Code includes a clause covering abuse of power to coerce someone into a sexual act (Article 181)., 
The Labour Code and the Law on the Prevention of Harassment at the Workplace cover sexual harassment in the work place. , 
It is unclear what areas are covered by the Law on Gender Equality.
Under the Law on the Prevention of Harassment at the Workplace, employers can be fined for failing to inform staff that sexual harassment is prohibited.
It is not clear what sanctions are in place for perpetrators.
Under the Criminal Code, the punishment for abuse of power to coerce someone into a sexual act is punishable by between three months and three years imprisonment.
The US Department of State country report on human rights practices states that sexual harassment is a common problem, but is not widely reported.
There is no evidence to suggest that female genital mutilation is practised in Serbia.
During the Balkan conflicts
and the conflict in Kosovo, rape, sexual violence, and forced pregnancy were routinely used as a weapon of war by all sides. In particular, sexual violence was used by Serbian and ethnic Serb forces from other parts of the former Yugoslavia against women and men belonging to other ethnic groups. Recent years have seen Serbia take a more cooperative stance in regard to working with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, and in 2009, five Serbian political, police and military leaders were convicted were convicted of the deportation, forcible transfer, murder and persecution (including rape) of thousands of ethnic Albanians during the 1999 Kosovo conflict, and each sentenced to 22 years in prison.
According to the Praxis / ERRC report, femicide
(as in the murder of women) is a recognisable problem in Serbia, exacerbated, according to Praxis / ERRC, by the high number of weapons in circulation in the civilian population, an outcome of the Balkans conflict.
In 2011, 44 women were murdered, as well as two police officers who were responding to a report of domestic violence., 
is available on demand in Serbia.
In 2013, the Serbian Orthodox Church called for abortion to be banned in all circumstances, except to protect the life of the mother.
 Council of Europe Treaty Office (2013)  Council of Europe (2009), p.83  CEDAW (2011), p.62  Criminal Code, Article 194  Council of Europe (2009), p.83  Criminal Code, Article 194  Council of Europe (2009), p.86  riminal Code, Article 194  Zeitlin, June (2012), p.2  European Commission (2012), p.15  Praxis / ERRC (2012), p.2  European Commission (2012), p.15  Zeitlin, June (2012), p.6  European Commission (2012), p.18  World Bank (2011), p.164, 167-168, 171  UNDP (2012) ‘  Cozzarelli, Catherine (2010), p.15  WAVE (2011)  ERRC) (2012), p.2-5  Zeitlin, June (2012), p.6  Criminal Code, Article 178  Criminal Code, Articles 371, 372  CEDAW (2006), p.62  Council of Europe (2009), p.86  Criminal Code, Article 194  US Department of State (2013)  Zeitlin, June (2012), p.8  US Department of State (2013)  CEDAW (2012), p.11  UNDP Serbia (2010), p.1  United Nations in Serbia (2013) p.1  Trifunovic & Cvetkovic,(2010), p.1  Zeitlin, June (2012), p.2  Council of Europe (2009), p.83  CEDAW (2011), p.48  Council of Europe (2009) p.83-84  Trifunovic & Cvetkovic Law Office (2010), p.1  Trifunovic & Cvetkovic Law Office (2010), p.1  Council of Europe (2009), p.84  US Department of State (2013)  Amnesty International (2010), p.280  Praxis /ERRC (2012), p.4  WAVE (2011)  RRC (2012), p.3  United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division (2013)  Balkan Insight (2013)