The first part of the mentorship programme dedicated to civil society organizations and survivors of violence involved in eliminating violence has been successfully completed

Within the concluding workshop of the mentorship programme dedicated to civil society organizations actively involved in combating domestic violence and women’s empowerment, the programme results have been presented. The participants expressed their opinion regarding the creation of the first survivors’ network in the Republic of Moldova, based on international good practices. Also, the guide on the establishment of survivors’ network, as well as other informative materials developed in close partnership with civil society organizations and survivors of violence were presented.

Date: Saturday, December 5, 2020

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Concluding workshop of the mentorship programme dedicated to civil society organizations actively involved in combating domestic violence and women’s empowerment, December 5, 2020

#ȘiEuReușesc Moldova will be created on the basis of the experience of the programme #ȘiEuReușesc  from Romania, conducted by the A.L.E.G. association. It is aiming at creating support communities for women experiencing domestic violence, which include psychological counseling groups but also online communication groups and access to specialists and specialized services. During the last months,  A.L.E.G. from Romania has been conducted the mentorship programme for 11 NGOs and 7 survivors from the Republic of Moldova. In total, within the mentorship programme, 10 online workshops and 4 workshops for small groups, for NGOs and survivors, took place. The concluding workshop, organized on 5 December, brought together NGOs and survivors who passed the programme to facilitate the establishment of a common working plan for the next working period. Also, a process to be followed by the organizations while developing and managing support communities has been established. The organizations took on the roles either in communication, in provision of services or network coordination. Also, an important contribution will be made by the National Coalition “Life without Violence”.

Anna Lyberg, the Ambassador of Sweden in Chisinau, mentioned: “It is always precious to see the process and the progress of the initiatives we support. The active contribution of our participants is highly appreciated, and it is definitely an investment in the future for the whole society. By having the National Mentoring Programme for civil society organizations that are actively involved in combating violence against women but also survivors, we hope that it would be a long-term assistance for all the organizations within the country. The voices of survivors can encourage other women to break the circle of violence!”

„We do work, with the partnership of Sweden and the Government by strengthening the legislation, advocating for the ratification of Istanbul Convention, strengthening the capacity of multidisciplinary teams and so on. But despite the efforts, I am still convinced that the role of civil society continues to be so crucial. During the pandemic of COVID-19, we saw that NGOs were really able to readjust to those challenges and continue to provide support to survivors”, Dominika Stojanoska, UN Women Moldova Country Representative mentioned.

Rodica Carpenco, one of the session participants said: “Having collaborated with UN Women Moldova and “Ariadna” center for several years, I faced different challenges in providing assistance to survivors of violence. Thanks to the mentorship programme we had the opportunity to pass during this year, a lot of my thoughts regarding work with survivors have changed. We had the opportunity to learn how to manage our working plans, how to share our own experience, how to reach to these women and make them wish to change something in their life, with our help, with help of specialists. It was a very difficult year but at the same time a year with great results. I hope this mentorship programme will be a success for us in making the first step in creating the first survivors’ network in Moldova”.

The mentorship programme is a follow-up of UN Women efforts in implementing a new approach focused on survivors, encouraging them to speak up and to advocate for concrete actions. This approach changed the perception of authorities and media, so that some of violence survivors are recognized and involved as key experts in eliminating violence against women, in the process of advocating for changing of legal framework, in creating information campaigns for decision-makers, including via participation in community activities. Being supported by UN Women, for the first time in the Republic of Moldova, 7 survivors of violence have been trained to help other women to do the same thing: to break the vicious circle of violence and to fight against discrimination.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics, about 64% women experienced a form of violence from husband or partner at least once. During the lockdown, recommended to combat the  COVID-19, there is a big risk that number of cases of violence will grow. In many countries, where social distancing has been imposed, the number of cases of violence tripled. In the Republic of Moldova, according to the international center “La Strada”, during the lockdown, 390 calls to hotlines for women and girls have been recorded, out of which 247 are related to domestic violence. Calls from urban areas, including Chisinau municipality, overcame by 35% the number of those from rural areas. Previously, this difference was about 6%. The percentage of calls increased by over 30%.

The mentorship programme is supported by United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment (UN Women), National Coalition “Life Without Violence, and funded by Sweden.