The Center for survivors of gender-based violence will be created to offer optimal conditions for both women and their children

The centre from the Gagauzia region for women who suffer from violence will be accessible for people with disabilities. The institution will have universal design, adapted to the needs of all beneficiaries, and will be operational before the end of this year, thanks to the cooperation between UNDP and the Executive Committee of Gagauzia.

"The centre will host at the same time up to six women with their children for a period of up to six months. The team will guide women to find solutions to the issues they are facing, as well as their reintegration in the community. The centre will provide psychological, social, and legal assistance. Should be the need, women will also be assisted to get access to other public services, such as medical services,” says Vitalie Frecauteanu, project coordinator, UNDP.

Olesea Tanasoglo, deputy chair of the Executive Committee of Gagauzia for social matters, says that the region needs this service. "At present, there are multidisciplinary teams in many communities. Their task is to prevent domestic violence. The quality of these interventions will improve significantly thanks to the social centre, where each woman will feel safe,” said Tanasoglo.

To consult the opinion of potential beneficiaries and specialists about how the centre should be designed and equipped, a user safari exercise was organized. This contributed to the implementation of the principle of universal design, accessible to all beneficiaries. Specialists in social protection, psychologists, construction companies’ representatives participated in the exercise. They analysed technical aspects and made proposals to finalize the service design.

According to the psychologist Lilia Gorceag, a shelter for survivors of gender-based violence could contribute to solving a range of social, legal, psychological, as well as medical issues. "Here, women will not just get a place where to sleep, clothes and food. They will also benefit from assistance in overcoming crisis and feel socially integrated."

Maria, a woman who survived domestic violence and who is now in a shelter in Chisinau with her child, participated in the discussions.

"These centres are a true salvation for women abused by their husbands. It is important to have here some rooms where each woman will have a chance to develop her potential, to make some handmade items, for example, which she could then sell," says the woman.

The initiative to open a social centre for survivors of gender-based violence is included in the project ”Addressing violence against women in the Republic of Moldova: exploring and learning from local solutions”, implemented during 2018-2020 by UNDP, with financial support of the Republic of Korea.

The Republic of Korea, via UNDP, will allocate 90,000 USD to equip the shelter. To complement the budget for the centre’s construction, a fundraising campaign was launched on sprijina.md.

In Moldova, according to the Study on violence against women developed by the National Bureau of Statistics in 2011, 7 out of 10 women in rural areas and 6 out of 10 women aged between 25 and 44 have been subject to at least one form of violence by their partner during their life. More than half of all women in Moldova were victims of psychological violence. Two out of five women experienced physical aggression at least once, and one out of five adult women (aged 35-39) have experienced sexual harassment (every other victim experienced it repeatedly).

Note for editors: "Universal design” means that products, programs, services, public spaces and architectural environments are designed in such a way that any person can use it to the maximum possible extent, without the need of adaptation or special engineering. (Art. 2 of the Law no 60/30.03.2012 on social inclusion of people with disabilities). The principle of universal design has been previously applied at the renovation of the UN House in Chisinau, as well as in other projects implemented by UNDP, including the redesign of the police station nr. 1 in Singerei and Buiucani police station in Chisinau.

Contact for mass-media: Vitalie Frecauteanu, project coordinator, UNDP Moldova, vitalie.frecauteanu@undp.org, Tel: +373 69602254

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