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CITIES AND COMMUNITIES FREE FROM DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

The project “Cities and Communities Free from Domestic Violence” is the UNFPA project aimed at developing municipal systems for preventing and combating domestic and gender-based violence.

The purpose of the project is to improve the capacity and role of the municipalities in the development of the sustainable mechanisms for protecting and assisting those affected by domestic violence. 

The project helps establish a network of high-quality specialised services and enhances coordination and intersectoral interaction of the authorities and services at the municipal level, as well as fosters more active engagement of residents of the communities into prevention and early detection of domestic violence.

Establishment of the municipal systems for preventing and combating domestic violence is based on 4P principles and includes:

  • prevention — development of zero tolerance to violence in the community and enhancement of readiness of the community members to combat violence;
  • protection and services — improved access of survivors of any age and health to high-quality survivor-oriented integrated services and provision of such services;
  • prosecution of perpetrators — adequate consideration of domestic violence and prosecution of perpetrators in accordance with the law, and change of the model of his/her conduct;
  • policies — establishment of the coordinated intersectoral response to violence, which guarantees efficient and timely assistance in each case.

The UNFPA selects the communities for partnership at the annual competition. The partnership is established for three years in the respective memorandum and provides for the UNFPA’s comprehensive support to community authorities in developing a robust system for preventing and combating domestic violence.

In 2020, the competition was announced among the cities with a population of over 50,000 people from 12 regions of Ukraine (Vinnytsia, Dnipro, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia, Kyiv, Luhansk, Lviv, Mykolaiv, Odesa, Poltava, Kharkiv, Kherson).

32 Ukrainian cities filed applications for the project in 2020, and 15 of them were selected to take part in the project for 2020-2023, namely: 

Vinnytsia, Dnipro, Kyiv, Kostiantynivka, Kramatorsk, Kremenchuk, Lviv, Melitopol, Mykolaiv, Odesa, Pokrovsk, Poltava, Sievierodonetsk, Kharkiv, Kherson.

In 2021, the project expanded its assistance to communities in the development of the local systems for preventing and combating domestic violence. The expansion was enabled by the support of the Governments of the UK and Canada. 

In April, another competition was held for communities from all the regions of Ukraine. Out of 117 applications submitted 15 were selected to join the project. Thus, the cities and communities partnering with the project for 2021-2024 are: 

Avanhard, Bila Tserkva, Dobropillia, Zaporizhzhia, Kalush, Kropyvnytskyi, Lubny, Mariupol, Rokytne, Starokostiantyniv, Ternopil, Uzhhorod, Khoroshiv, Khotyn, and Cherkasy.

During the first year of implementation of the project “Cities and Communities Free from Domestic Violence” supported by the Government of the UK in 15 cities (cohort of 2020): 

  • more than 60 capacity development activities were held for more than 880 persons responsible for measures to prevent and combat domestic violence; 
  • 45 municipal subject matter experts were trained (three for each city);
  • 38 local initiatives were supported within the campaign “16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence”, which involved more than 583,000 community residents;
  • support was provided to establish and develop 21 specialised services for survivors of domestic violence (shelters, day centres, crisis rooms etc.).

During the first six months of the second year of implementation of the project “Cities and Communities Free from Domestic Violence” supported by the Governments of the UK and Canada in 15 cities partnering with the project for 2020-2023 and 15 cities and communities partnering with the project for 2021-2024: 

  • more than 70 capacity development interventions were held for more than 1,000 persons responsible for measures to prevent and combat domestic violence; 
  • 45 municipal subject matter experts were additionally trained (three for each city and community that joined in 2021);
  • a joint symbolic action was conducted in 30 cities and communities partnering with the project within the campaign “16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence” to create unique manifests against domestic violence. In all the cities, there was a screening of the documentary film “Break the Circle” about domestic violence survivors’ pathway to violence-free life. The film was created by the UNFPA with the support of the UK Government.

Contact person for cooperation with communities on behalf of the UNFPA — Kostiantyn Boichuk, regional coordinator, coordinator of the project “Cities and communities free of domestic violence” (boichuk@unfpa.org, +38 095 262 74 96).