New centres for psycho-social assistance to survivors of violence open in eastern Ukraine

  • Newly created centres in Vuhledar and Popasna will provide extensive support to persons who have experienced domestic or gender-based violence 

Vuhledar, Donetsk Oblast, and Popasna, Luhansk Oblast, 24 March 2021 – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Ukraine has opened a day centre for psycho-social assistance to survivors of violence in the Vuhledar Territorial Community, as well as a 24/7 shelter in Popasna to protect persons who have experienced domestic and gender-based violence. 

The centre in Vuhledar was opened and equipped with all of the necessary technical equipment at a total cost of U.S. $39,154 (UAH 1,096,298), while the shelter in Popasna was opened for US$ 51 984 (UAH 1 455 558) under the UN Recovery and Peacebuilding Programme, with financial support from the governments of Denmark, Sweden and Switzerland. 

The newly opened centres are a safe place for survivors of various forms of violence. Both carry out daily preventive work with people facing challenging life conditions due to gender-based or domestic violence. The centres' specialists provide comprehensive support to beneficiaries, including correctional and rehabilitation services and psychological assistance to GBV survivors. 

Oksana Parkhomenko, the director of the Vuhledar City Centre for Social Services for Families, Children and Youth, stressed the importance of creating institutions where violence survivors can receive support and protection. 

"Everyone has the right to feel protected, said Parkhomenko. “So it is a piece of good news that our community now has a centre with modern equipment, where each and every person can raise their awareness about preventing and combating violence, as well as receive a range of psycho-social services on this issue." 

The Day Centre in Vuhledar functions as a structural subdivision of the local City Centre for Social Services for Families, Children and Youth, and directs the efforts of specialists to reduce the number of cases of domestic and/or gender-based violence through psycho-social work with beneficiaries in self-worth, independence, and knowledge of their rights and opportunities. 

Rustam Pulatov, the lead of the Community Security and Social Cohesion component of the UN Recovery and Peacebuilding Programme, said that the assistance and support to violence survivors are essential priorities of the programme, which are implemented through prevention activities and the creation of safe spaces, day centres and shelters in communities.   

"Any demonstration of violence – domestic, gender-based or of another kind – is a huge problem, which we are systematically working to overcome,” said Pulatov. “In advance, we create conditions where survivors can feel safe and can regain their strength. At the same time, using such centres, we work to prevent the recurrence of violence against survivors and form zero tolerance for its manifestations in society." 

Both centres are fully inclusive, contain a psychologist's room, a training room for GBV and domestic violence prevention, bathrooms and a kitchen. The 24/7 shelter in Popasna is also equipped with special living rooms.

Rymma Khomatova, director of the Popasna District Centre for Social Services for Violence Survivors, said the shelter was designed for ten people. It contains four living rooms, a kitchen, a bathroom, a sitting room and a children's play area. 

"Beneficiaries will be able to stay here for up to three months,” Khomatova said. “They can get here at the direction of the police or a mobile team of social and psychological assistance operating in the city, as well as the direction of an authorised local authority." 

The centres' addresses aren’t being disclosed to guarantee the safety of violence survivors and staff. Vuhledar City Centre for Social Services for Families, Children, and Youth can provide information on the shelter there and its services, and the information about 24/7 shelter in Popasna 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. 

In addition to the UN Recovery and Peacebuilding Programme, Vuhledar City Council, Vuhledar City Centre for Social Services for Families, Children and Youth, Vuhledar Development Agency, and the NGO "Future Integration" took part in the project's implementation and contributed financing worth US$ 2,582 (UAH 72,290) in Vuhledar, while the shelter in Popasna was jointly financed by the local District State Administration (DSA) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Ukraine. Popasna RSA financially supported the project with a sum of US$ 24 286 (UAH 680,000) and UNFPA contributed US$ 8,481 (UAH 237,458) 

Background 

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. 

Media enquiries 

Maksym Kytsiuk, Communications Specialist, UN Recovery and Peacebuilding Programme, maksym.kytsiuk@undp.org, +380 63 576 1839 

More photos in Flickr album: https://www.flickr.com/photos/undpukraine/albums/72157718509845695/with/51068075283/  

UN entities involved in this initiative
FAO
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
UN Women
United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women
UNDP
United Nations Development Programme
UNFPA
United Nations Population Fund