News Society, 03/12/2016

Kharkiv Opens First Shelter for Women Victims of Domestic Violence

The first shelter in Ukraine for women victims of domestic violence opened in Kharkiv. The main aim is to give women psychological and legal aid and help them to improve relations in their families.

The shelter opened with the help of international and public organizations such as the United Nations, the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ) and the International Charitable Foundation “Ukrainian Foundation of Public Health”.

The shelter is only for ten women and it works 24/7. There are bedrooms, a kitchen and a shower. Five women are living in the shelter now; two of them live with the children. So it is planned to equip a separate children’s corner, and the staff of the shelter is looking for professionals who can look after the kids while moms will have to go for some business.

“The first task is to solve conflict situations in order to avoid the necessity of women to visit such shelters. It is about gender violence, when men behave improperly towards women, and their behavior, due to different circumstances, becomes violent. We opened the first crisis center for women 20 years ago, but at that time women were not ready to talk about their problems. They would prefer to say that they fell of the ladder when they were punched in the face. I believe that the situation is changing and women will not be afraid to assert their rights”, – said Svitlana Horbunova-Ruban, the Deputy Mayor of Kharkiv on Health and Social Welfare.

The new shelter is a closed institution, and only victims of domestic violence can find its address. The address of the shelter is known in all the social services of the city and public organizations dealing with the problems of domestic violence.

It is reported that 100 000 incidences of domestic violence are registered in Ukraine every year.

Source: Kharkiv City Council