Andriana Zaslaveț on how to end domestic violence and her motivation for helping other women through her own example

“#ŞiEuReuşesc” – is the slogan that brought together women in the Republic of Moldova within a mentorship programme dedicated to the survivors of domestic violence, a project implemented with the support of UN Women and managed by the Association for Freedom and Equality of Gender (A.L.E.G.) from Romania. Andriana Zaslaveţ, project coordinator within the “Memoria” Rehabilitation Centre for Torture Victims, is one of the “champions” and participants of the mentorship programme. 35 years old, mother of two wonderful boys, Andriana chose to confront her fears and the prejudices in the society, joining the group of women survivors of violence.

Date: Thursday, January 21, 2021

Andriana Zaslaveț
“Within this programme, I have participated as a positive champion. This means that a woman who went through domestic violence goes on to talk about what violence means, how she experienced it and how this vicious cycle could be broken”, says Andriana.

According to her, the positive champions are the ones who can come with solutions for improving the legislation, who know much better all the challenges from personal experience when they accessed essential services. She didn’t hesitate for a second to participate in this programme for two reasons: First of all, it was extremely beneficial; and secondly, in order to represent a non-governmental organization working in the field of preventing and combating domestic violence. Andriana states: “I was helped a lot in understanding some issues.

 

I have realized that, some time ago, I was also a victim of domestic violence, only it wasn’t physical violence, but rather psychological and economic violence, forms which are more difficult to be identified and documented later. The discussions we had within this programme helped me overcome this trauma and reach a new level, where, through my own story, I can motivate other women to stop tolerating violence.”

At the same time, according to Andriana, our society is far from understating this phenomenon. She advocates for that victims of violence, as well as the witnesses to cases of violence, mustn’t hesitate and call the Emergency Services number 112, in order to have the authorized bodies intervene, or the Trust Line for Women: 0 8008 8008. Also, women, who are victims of domestic violence and in need of support, can benefit from the services provided by the “Memoria” Rehabilitation Centre for Torture Victims. This organization offers direct support to victims of gender-based violence, including victims of domestic violence, through multidisciplinary services (medical, psychological, legal and social assistance) for the purpose of rehabilitation, as well as access to justice.

You are not alone
“#ŞiEuReuşesc” is a personal development programme, says Andriana, who helped the participants in this programme assess their further actions. “It was beneficial because I learned how to correctly tell and write a story, when and how a woman who suffered from domestic violence should do it. We were previously telling our stories differently, from the perspective of our own trauma, and which were the climaxes of the situations, when we were physically abused. Here, within the programme, our colleagues from Romania showed us that we must tell our stories differently. The story actually starts from the moment the woman says `STOP!` This is the moment for the beginning of her story, starting with: where did she seek assistance, who helped her and how she lives her life now, far from abuse. It is very beneficial the fact that we were taught how to tell our story in such a manner, that it would have an impact on society, as well as on the entities authorized to respond to cases of violence.”

Following this programme, the plan is to develop a network of women survivors of violence in the Republic of Moldova, based on the model of the network “#ȘiEuReușesc” from Romania, implemented by the A.L.E.G. Association. This programme is dedicated to civil society organizations working in the field of preventing and combating violence, and to the survivors who managed to successfully eliminate the phenomenon of violence from their own lives and are now ready to help other women who face similar situations.

The mentorship programme was launched in February 2020 in the Republic of Moldova by UN Women Moldova in partnership with the “Life without Domestic Violence” National Coalition, with the financial support of Sweden. It consisted of psychological support groups, online communication groups, as well as specialized services. For the first time in the Republic of Moldova, with the support of UN Women, seven survivors of violence are ready to support women in overcoming this phenomenon.