A meeting with Deputy Chief Monitor of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine Aleska Simkic gathered members of different civic organizations in Kharkiv on December 4.
The discussion was held within “16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence” international campaign. Simkic presented the results of monitoring the cases of gender-based violence taking place during the war in Donbas.
“The war primarily affects the civilian population and increases the risk of gender-based violence, including sexual and domestic violence,” noted the Deputy Chief.
Only for the current year, the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission has detected more than 400 war victims among civilians, including the killed and wounded.
According to UN agencies, 22 percent of women became victims of sexual and domestic violence, however, only 32 percent of them asked for help officially.
Another speaker, head of La Strada-Ukraine civic organization Kateryna Levchenko informed that the number of reports on sexual violence from the occupied territories increased by 3.5 times and reached about 800 cases in 2017.
“Women are not the conflict’s victims only. They also play an important role in changing the situation, some take an active part in restoring infrastructure,” Simkic pointed out. She also thinks that women should join the discussions on resolving the conflict.
Change Agency Perspectives director Tetyana Chernetska said that a program to oppose sexual violence stirred by the conflict on Donbas was adopted at the last session of the Kharkiv city council. “This is a pioneering decision,” she noted.
Text: Olena Sokolynska
Photo: Nakipelo, Nataliya Kovalenko