Sixteen days of activism against gender-based violence campaign started in Kharkiv at the Constitution Square yesterday. It aims to draw public attention to the relevance for Ukrainian society of the family violence issue, to activate partnership between civic organizations and state authorities in preventing violence and protecting the rights of Ukrainian women.
The event is part of the international campaign and is dedicated to protecting the rights of the most vulnerable women’s groups – ethnic minorities, LGBT community, refugees and other categories. The symbol of the action is the orange color, with which the participants want to show aversion to violence against women.
Annually, about 165,000 Ukrainian women are beaten or raped in the family, and nearly 3 million children become witnesses of domestic violence.
According to officials, Kharkiv is actively fighting with the problem of violence in families. A year ago, the Center for Assistance to Women Victims of Violence was opened, about 100 women have already applied to it.
As part of the world action, the Independence Monument “Ukraine Flying” was highlighted in orange, and its participants raised the same color umbrellas over their heads. Such action took place in 15 cities of Ukraine, where notable architectural sites were also lit up in orange.
“Today Verkhovna Rada has prepared two draft laws for the second reading: counteracting and eliminating the domestic violence, as well as a law providing for criminal responsibility for such crimes,” said parliament member Iryna Lutsenko.
The international campaign will last from November 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to December 10, Human Rights Day. The first world campaign against gender violence started in 1991. Ukraine joined in 2001.
Text: Iryna Klymenko
Photos: Kharkiv City Council