Day centre for social and psychological assistance to survivors of violence opens in Kreminna, eastern Ukraine
- The UN-supported centre will provide comprehensive assistance to persons who have experienced domestic or gender-based violence.
Kreminna, Luhansk Oblast - The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Ukraine and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), together with national partners, has opened a day centre for social and psychological assistance to survivors of violence in Kreminna, Luhansk Oblast, to protect people who have experienced domestic and gender-based violence, and whose life or health are under threat.
The centre was opened, overhauled and equipped with all of the necessary technical equipment and furniture at a total cost of U.S. $80,580 (UAH 2,256,240) under the UN Recovery and Peacebuilding Programme, with financial support from Denmark, Sweden and Switzerland.
The day centre now opened in Kreminna is designed to be a 24/7 safe place for survivors of various forms of violence. It provides not only a place to shelter and hide from offenders, but also psychological, social and legal assistance from qualified specialists, as well as a number of social, medical and informational services based on an assessment of survivors’ needs. The provision of assistance to a person will be individualised, taking into account their age, gender, health and social status.
Olha Revuk, the deputy minister of Social Policy of Ukraine for European Integration, who was present at the event, stressed the importance of expanding the network of institutions that provide comprehensive assistance to women who face violence and need a safe place to receive the necessary psychological, social and legal support.
"It is important that every person, every citizen of Ukraine, from cities, towns and communities feel protected,” Revuk said. “It is great that such a shelter has been opened in accordance with international standards with the help of our international partners from the UN Recovery and Peacebuilding Programme, and we thank them. I emphasise that it is essential that there is an understanding of the importance of implementing the Law of Ukraine ‘On Prevention and Counteraction to Domestic Violence’ by the local and regional authorities. I'm convinced that the new centre will be a place of absolute protection for women and children who suffer from domestic and other forms of violence. Such shelters should be opened in all Ukraine cities, and especially in the regions near the ‘contact line.’”
UNDP Deputy Resident Representative to Ukraine Manal Fouani said that the COVID-19 pandemic further compounded the impact of seven years of conflict and made it even harder for people who have experienced domestic and gender-based violence to find the help they need. These centres are not just needed but essential for the community to provide opportunities and mechanisms for protection in such difficult times.
"These centres are a safe haven for survivors to reflect, become more self-reliant and resilient and more importantly embark on a new life, free from violence and fear,” Fouani said. “They are places for people who no longer have anyone to rely on, and who need a place to turn to for help. Stemming from UNDP’s belief in the centrality of the protection of people, we’re systematically working together with our partners to create such shelters around the country.”
The day centre is fully inclusive, designed for ten adults, with three rooms for visitors, a space for sessions with a psychologist, bathrooms, a kitchen and a living room. All rooms have been adapted to meet the needs of people with disabilities.
UNFPA Deputy Representative Pavlo Zamostian said the day centre's opening was an essential component for ensuring there is a comprehensive response to gender-based violence.
"First of all, it’s a victory for the community, which has received a place to provide quality services and safe shelter for survivors,” Zamostian said. “And no less important, it’s a victory of a partnership: the partnership between the local government, which decided to establish such an institution, allocated co-financing for its creation and fully assumed its maintenance, and UNDP and UNFPA – our constant, reliable partners."
The address of the shelter is not being disclosed to guarantee the safety of violence survivors and staff. Information on the shelter and the services provided there can be obtained via the contacts below:
· Day centre for social and psychological assistance +380 95 202 4341, +380 64 542 4400;
· Mobile brigade of social and psychological assistance +380 63 026 2973, +380 99 366 6308.
Specialists from these institutions can refer women-survivors of violence, including women with children, to a safe place of residence for up to three months.
In addition to the UN Recovery and Peacebuilding Programme, Kreminna Town Council, which will continue to subsidise the shelter from the local budget, joined in the project's implementation and financing.
The United Nations Recovery and Peacebuilding Programme (UN RPP) is being implemented by four United Nations agencies: the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO).
Twelve international partners support the Programme: the European Union (EU), the European Investment Bank (EIB), the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine, and the governments of Canada, Denmark, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden & Switzerland.
Maksym Kytsiuk, Communications Specialist, UN Recovery and Peacebuilding Programme, email@example.com, +380 63 576 1839.