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On April 11, in Berdyansk, the Center for the Assistance to Women affected by domestic and gender-based violence was opened in a renovated building, furnished and equipped under international standards; the Centre launch was made possible through the joint efforts of the Berdyansk City Council, the GIZ German Society for International Cooperation, acting on behalf of the Government of Germany, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Ukraine and the Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine.

The shelter for the victims in Berdyansk began to function in a temporary building in March 2017 as a joint project of the Berdyansk City Council and international organizations. During this time, 74 women and 89 children received assistance. These centers provide comprehensive assistance to women who are in trouble and require a safe place to stay, where they can receive the necessary psychological, social and legal support to restore their inner resources and make decisions about their future lives.

Natalia Fedorovych, Deputy Minister of Social Policy of Ukraine, emphasized that it is very important that the Center which was opened in Berdyansk complies with the provisions of the new law adopted in Ukraine in 2017.

"It is important when the implementation of this law is supported on the ground, and when the city Mayor personally took care of the project progress. Why is it important - every citizen, every citizen of Ukraine, of every city, village and community should feel protected. It is great that such shelter is opened adhering to international standards with the help of our international partners - the German Government, the GIZ Foundation and the UNFPA. And we appreciate their contribution. I emphasize that it is essential to have understanding from the city and regional authorities about the importance of implementing this law. I am convinced that the newly opened Center will be an absolutely safe place for women, women with children who suffer and are affected by domestic violence. Such shelters should be opened in all cities of Ukraine, but Berdyansk was among the pioneering ones, which, realizing these needs, responded quickly to the possibility of implementing this project".

Pavel Zamostyan, Deputy Representative of the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) in Ukraine, joining the words of gratitude and congratulations on this important event, noted that this project was planned in 2016. Since March 2017, Berdyansk has started to work as a temporary shelter in a rented premises, the operator of which was a public organization.

"The project itself envisioned not only equipping the premises, but also the development of a system of interaction and response to domestic violence of all involved bodies and institutions - including the police and social services, healthcare, and legal aid. This kind of cross-sectoral interaction is the key to success and the best international standard of response to similar manifestations of violence. The shelter and mobile team, which was also supported under this project, are crucial components. And today we are happy that the shelter was opened in a modern building, equipped to the highest standards. At the same time, I hope that violence against women will become extremely rare in our society, which we all, as a community, will never tolerate, but put up tangible response to decrease it as much as possible".

According to statistics, over 100,000 women's complaints regarding domestic violence per year are registered in Ukraine, more than 20% of the applicants need temporary shelter and long-term social and psychological assistance. In 2018, 89 law enforcement agencies and the Berdyansk City Center for Social Services for Family, Children and Youth received 89 appeals about domestic violence cases, and about 40 appeals were submitted monthly to the hotline of the mobile team in Berdyansk and Berdyansk district.