The regional coordinator of the Ukrainian Women’s Congress in Poltava region: «I will set up connections to build shelters for the victims of domestic violence»

The Ukrainian Women’s Congress keeps strengthening its regional network by providing education and exchanging experiences between its members. So, in May 2021 the representatives of the Congress took part in online training “Counteracting domestic violence and the Istanbul Convention: myths and facts”.

During this educational event the participants had a chance:

  • to find out more about legal acts that aimed to counteract domestic violence and combat this thing;
  • to bust the myths about the Istanbul convention and discovered the facts to support its ratification;
  • to consider cases of combating domestic violence and supporting its victims in local communities;
  • to hear the speech of the Government Commissioner for the gender policy Kateryna Levchenko.

«We often hear that Ukraine makes great progress in the legal regulation of the state’s reaction on violence. Everything gets better, shelters grow, police work and violence is a criminal crime. But events like this one let us reveal the truth about the practice of implementing those legal acts. Women-migrants suffering from violence face the perspective of deportation, the number of victims grows, but newly launched shelters stay empty because of unreally regulated procedure of accessing them. This is the case when gender stereotypes of the officials and clerks still objectify the victims and gender neutrality is being manipulated in cases about children», – told Marta Chumalo, the human rights activist and co-founder of NGO “Women’s perspectives”, about her impressions after the training.

«We had a possibility to share our experience about the impact of the administrative and medical reforms on the most vulnerable category of women who suffer from domestic violence. Everything looks great on the papers, but it is totally different in the reality of a victim. And platforms like this one are vital for social discussions on the topics that are always silenced», – the expert concluded.

According to Yulia Tsybulska, the deputy of Poltava regional council and the regional coordinator of the Ukrainian Women’s Congress in the region, the issue of domestic violence is quite sensitive, and it is being hidden. «I’m sure that official statistics do not face the reality. There are lots of staff in the departments that have to work with these issues, but they are not effective. That’s why NGOs and volunteers come to help. Thanks to the training I found out a lot about the experience of women who works in combating and overcoming domestic violence. And gathering the legal proofs is an important issue in our world of virtual communication, because all the crimes should be proved by proper proofs», – she said.

«I also plan to set up connections with girls to launch the regional network of shelters for victims of domestic violence. The experience of our Speaker Iryna inspired me to do this in our region», – the regional coordinator of the Ukrainian Women’s Congress in Poltava oblast shared her plans.

It is the 5th training for the regional network of the Ukrainian Women’s Congress. The Congress is going to develop its network and unite people with the idea of equal rights and opportunities for men and women all over Ukraine. The next training is planned for June.