Dozens of women from the Administrative-Territorial Unit of Gagauzia, suffering from gender-based violence, could benefit from psychological counseling provided as part of a UNDP project. The initiative is part of the 16 days of activism against violence campaign, marked worldwide during 25 November-10 December.

Women could schedule a visit to the psychologist on: 27 November, 5 and 6 December.

“Besides the gender-based violence survivors, many other persons in need of psychological support could benefit from this service. So, we aim towards helping women to overcome their psychological traumas and to promote a mental health caring culture,” mentions Vitalie Frecăuţeanu, Project Coordinator at UNDP Moldova.

Also, newlyweds shall be informed about the risks of violence, as part of an information campaign to be launched in the Gagauzia region, as part of the 16 days of activism against violence campaign. For the next months, all couples filing an application for marriage will receive information materials with the slogan “A happy family is a family without violence”, and all local secretaries that register marriages will mention prevention of violence in their speeches. These information materials were developed with UNDP’s support, at the initiative of the multidisciplinary team from Chirsova village, composed of representatives from local services as social assistance, police, psychologists – all of them working together for preventing and combating violence.

UNDP has mobilized funds from the Republic of Korea and regional authorities of Gagauzia to launch into operation in 2020 a support center for survivors of gender-based violence. This center will provide shelter to women and their children for a period of up to six months, and offer them psychological counselling, social and legal assistance. At the same time, the beneficiaries will be advised how to find a job and how to start a business.  

With the 16 days of activism against gender-based violence campaign, the UN aims to mobilize central and local public authorities, civil society, women and men to participate actively in preventing and fighting violence against women and girls and domestic violence.

The UN Agencies in Moldova, including UNDP, support the Government in revising and strengthening the legal framework in the area of preventing and fighting violence, creating services and multidisciplinary teams to provide support to the survivors of violence, training the teachers, physicians and Police staff to recognize the signs of abuse or violence and to take actions after detecting such signs.

The Republic of Moldova has committed to end violence against women by ratifying the UN Convention on the Elimination of all types of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and passing the Law on preventing and fighting domestic violence.

An imperative for the Moldova remains the ratification of the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul Convention). This is the most comprehensive International Treaty recognizing violence against women as a violation of human rights and as a form of discrimination. The Republic of Moldova signed the Convention in 2017, ratification being the next step.

To support parliamentarians’ active involvement in combatting violence against women and girls and empowering them, UNDP and UN Women, in partnership with Sweden, encourage the relaunching of the Common Dialogue Platform of Women MPs within an event planned for the 26 November 2019. The platform was established in 2015 and its members have promoted the adoption of the Law No. 196 dated 28 July 2016, bringing a complex package of measures aimed to ensure a high degree of safety to the survivors of violence. Among them is the 10-day emergency restraining order during which the aggressor is immediately removed from the family home.

During the 16 days of activism against violence campaign, the Central Electoral Commission’s building shall display on its building an orange banner – the colour of the campaign, symbolizing Hope and a Future free of violence for all girls and women.

According to an OSCE study conducted in July 2019, three out of four women (76%) note that violence against women is a widespread phenomenon in Moldova. According to the same study, one third (33%) of women know somebody from their friends or family, who has been subject to domestic violence, and an equal percentage of persons say that they know victims from their community. Two fifths of women (40%) admit being exposed to physical or sexual violence committed by a partner or unknown man, since the age of 15 years old.

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