Shelter for violence survivors opens in SlovianskFeb 8, 2018
Feb. 7 2018, SLOVIANSK – A shelter to give social and psychological assistance to women who have suffered from violence or ill-treatment has opened in Sloviansk, Donetsk Oblast.
The facility will be a safe place for women who have suffered from various forms of gender-based violence, where they can temporarily stay to receive the psychological, social and legal support they need to restore their own inner strengths and make decisions about their future lives.
“Around the world, too many women are subject to violence from close partners,” said Janthomas Hiemstra, UNDP Country Director.
“Ukraine, together with the rest of the global community, has committed to eliminating all forms of violence against women by 2030, in public and private spheres of life. Access to a shelter is in many cases a painful but necessary step to break the circle of violence, which, as we know, rarely stops by itself.”
Police reported 4,320 calls related to domestic violence in Donetsk Oblast in 2017.
The opening of the shelter will give more opportunities both to survivors of violence and for agencies and services (social, law enforcement, and legal) to respond to cases of violence against women. Particularly, in light of the recently adopted Law “On Preventing and Combating Domestic Violence” which stipulates the creation of a sufficient number of shelters for survivors of domestic violence, the opening of such a center in Donetsk Oblast is an important milestone.
“The Center in Slovyansk should be the start of an entire chain of places where gender-based violence survivors can find help when there are no other solution. Shelter is not only the end point, when there is no other choice, but also a way to get back to normal life”, said Caspar Peek, UNFPA Representative in Ukraine.
According to international standards, there should be one place in such a shelter for every 7,500 to 10,000 people. Typically, more than 20 percent of survivors need temporary shelter, social and psychological assistance.
To set up the centre, major repairs and furnishing of an area of 150 square meters (seven rooms) was carried out. The centre can accommodate up to six adult clients and two children at a time. They can stay up to one month or longer, depending on the individual circumstances. Over a year, the shelter has capacities to provide services to more than 50 GBV survivals.
“The EU is proud contribute to the normalization and modernization of Donetsk Oblast, especially in the context of ongoing police reform, and respect for rule of law and human dignity,” said Berend de Groot, the head of Cooperation Programmes at the EU Delegation to Ukraine.
“The opening of this women’s shelter is a small step forward towards this goal, but it is also a very important step.”
The centre was created with financial support from the European Union under the Recovery and Peacebuilding Programme implemented by UNDP and UN Women in eastern Ukraine.
The center’s work will be further supported by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), with financial support from the UK government, in close cooperation with city and regional authorities, the Donetsk Regional Center for Social Services for Families, Children and Youth, as well as non-governmental partners – in particular the League of Social Workers NGO.