Press Release

The United Nations in Ukraine and the Wild Theater present NEW SCARS an interactive project against gender-based violence

25 November 2020

  • The New Scars project collected real stories of Ukrainian women, and their physical and mental wounds that cannot not heal. Through various art formats, viewers will be able to hear these stories on the stage of the theater, on television, as well as co-create their own theatrical performance in an interactive game format with multiple endings. The project is part of the global campaign 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, that takes place annually from 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, till 10 December, Human Rights Day.

In Ukraine and worldwide, gender-based violence is widespread and systematic, gaining even more momentum during the COVID-19 pandemic. Almost half (49%) of women in Ukraine say they have experienced sexual harassment. Worldwide, 86% of rape survivors and 78% of domestic violence survivors are women. Under quarantine, the number of calls to the National Hotline for the Prevention of Domestic Violence has doubled.

The New Scars project is about violence that is difficult to recognize but it leaves a phantom pain for many years. Violence can have different manifestations: psychological, economic, physical, sexual. The fear and shame of being stigmatized as survivors of violence force women and girls to remain silent. Only acknowledging the problem and giving the voice to the survivors can make society fund, respond, prevent and collect data to eliminate violence against women and girls.

The premiere of the performance "New Scars" takes place on November 25 at Dovzhenko center, it will go live on UN in Ukraine YouTube Channel. The interactive game version of the play will be available for the audience on the website . The performance will be available on TV UA: Culture and streaming service MEGOGO.

Stories of "scars" were collected by the playwright Kira Malinina, director - Natalka Syvanenko, artist - Lesya Golovach, Masha Ryapulova and Lida Soklakova worked on the script of the play.

Cast: Anna Kuzina, Anna Abramyonok, Anna Serdyuk, Marina Serdeshnyuk and Rimma Zubina.

 “As the pandemic takes a foothold, we are witnessing increased rates of gender-based violence in public spaces in addition to domestic violence. You have a role to play. Everyone can make a difference and support women and girl survivors of violence to stay safe and free of violence, make sure judicial systems continue to prosecute abusers, create safe ways for women to seek support, and more.” – Osnat Lubrani, UN Resident & Humanitarian Coordinator in Ukraine.

"New Scars" are impressive because they are based on real stories shared with us by women of all ages from different parts of the country. These are stories full of pain and despair, but everyone who will watch the play will understand, there is a way out, “- Yaroslava Kravchenko, founder of the Wild Theater, advocate of the HeForShe movement in Ukraine.

In support of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, led by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, the UNiTE to End Violence against Women Campaign (UNiTE) calls for global action to increase awareness, galvanize advocacy efforts, and share of knowledge and innovations. In recent years, the UNiTE campaign has utilized the color orange to represent a brighter future, free from violence against women and girls, as a unifying theme running through its global activities.


In support to the movement against gender-based violence, we encourage everyone to step up and share the stories against violence on social media and choose an orange item of clothing, make-up or accessory for photos and videos. Please hashtag your voice with #16days #новішрами #шрами and the @un_ukraine tag.   

Calendar of events of the project "New Scars":

  • November 25 - launch of the interactive play at
  • November 25 20:00 - premiere Kyiv, Scene 6, Vasylkivska, 1 (Dovzhenko Center)
  • November 25 20:00 - broadcast of the play on the UN YouTube channel in Ukraine
  • November 29 22:05 - broadcast of the performance on UA:Culture. In particular, watching the event on the TV channel will be available on the media service MEGOGO, which, thanks to the function of the TV archive, will allow watching for the next 14 days.

Why this problem matters? Please explore facts in the set of infographic with fact and figures about the issue of gender-based violence in Ukraine.

The trailer of the play - link

UN entities involved in this initiative

UN Women
United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women

Goals we are supporting through this initiative