On June 21 the Mini-Park “Peace Garden” was be presented on Sofiyska Square in Kyiv. The composition of trees and other plants will be planted in Kramatorsk, Donetsk region. The Peace Garden is dedicated to the internal displacement of over 1.7 million of people from Luhansk, Donetsk regions and Crimea, who were forced to leave their homes due to the annexation and the armed conflict. The mini-park will be planted in Donetsk region because it which hosts one the biggest population of internally displaced people (almost 700 000).
“The Peace Garden is designed as a symbol for peace both in the country and in families, which we aspire, – said Halyna Skipalska, Executive Director of Ukrainian Foundation for Public Health (UFPH), – Currently we have over 1,7 million internally displaced people in our country. The majority of IDPs are women and children. All of them have experienced or witnessed violence; many lost their relatives. In some families, the pressure of challenges and economic problems turns into the family crisis and domestic violence. Almost all IDPs need psychological and social assistance, socialization, solving economic problems. With this event we want to raise awareness on the need to develop support services for IDP women and their families in host communities, psychosocial services for women who have experienced violence and sustainability of these services”.
The “Peace Garden” will include hornbeam and apple tree, which symbolize men and women who are in harmonic relationships, as well as flowers and bushes. The composition will be decorated with trials from stones and granite grit and metallic columns with mirror surface, which will symbolize displaced families. The columns will reflect everything around them as a metaphor of how the surrounding impacts displaced families – welcoming and beautiful environment contributes to better integration in host communities, decreases stress in families and prevents domestic violence.
“Domestic violence and violence against women are violations of human rights, which has long-term impacts on society in general, – said Serhiy Polyuk,Sector Manager for Health and Welfare, EU Delegation to Ukraine. – EU collaborates with the Ukrainian Government and civil society in addressing violence against women. Together with the Ukrainian Foundation for Public Health we implement the project to develop psychosocial services in Kyiv and 11 regions to provide women survivors of violence with professional support and rehabilitation”.
Worldwide, in conflicts rapidly increases the level of violence against women. Ukraine is no exception. According to UNFPA studies, 22% of women in Ukraine have experienced or continue to suffer from physical or sexual abuse.
“Almost 80% of women survivors of violence have never addressed for help,– said Pavlo Zamostian, Assistant Representative, UNFPA in Ukraine. – Weunderstand that this happens because of fear to be judged, complicated procedures and often unavailable services. That’s why UNFPA together with UFPH created 21 mobile psychosocial support teams in five Eastern Regions of Ukraine. Psychologistsand social workers from mobile teams visit women survivors of violence at their homes and provide counseling there. In this way, we literary brought our services topeople. As a result, during seven month period over six thousand women survivors of violence received psychosocial assistance».
“The Ministry of Social Policy closely collaborates with UN, EU, civil society organizations in development of the governmental policies in prevention of violence against women and domestic violence, – said Natalia Fedorovych, Director of the Department on Family, Gender Policies and Combatting Human Trafficking of the Ministry of Social Policy. – Violence one of the reasons for the collapse of thousands Ukrainian families. Also violence is violation of human rights guaranteed by the Constitution of Ukraine. We are actively working on ratification of the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul Convention). Also, in collaboration with international and non-governmental organizations we develop services for survivors of violence against women and domestic violence, as well as prevention programs”.
Info about the projects: (1) the EU Funded Project “Against Violence: Improving Access to Social Services Across Ukraine”. Within this project UFPH pilots interagency response model to violence against women and domestic violence in Kyiv and 11 regions; (2) the UNFPA Funded Project“Strengthening humanitarian response to the need of most vulnerable women and female adolescents affected by armed conflict in Eastern Ukraine through multi-sectorial prevention and response to GBV and access to SRH services”. In 7-month period over 5000 women survivors of violence received psychosocial assistance within this project.