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Maria Efrosinina visited shelters for people affected by violence in Slovyansk and Kharkiv

Within the framework of the United Nations Population Fund Program to Respond to and Combat Gender-Based Violence in Ukraine and with the support of the Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine and local authorities, 9 shelters have already been established for women affected by violence. Such centers (safe spaces and day care crisis centers) are already operating in Kharkiv City and Kharkiv oblast, Kryvyi Rih, Odesa, Vinnytsya, Mariupol, Slovyansk, Berdyansk and Kherson.

Last week, together with UNFPA Honorary Ambassador to Ukraine Masha Efrosinina, we visited Slovyansk and Kharkiv.

During the visit, we talked to shelter and day care workers, mobile teams and local government officials involved in building a quality services delivery system to the domestic violence survivors in the city.

“Take action, otherwise nothing's gonna change tomorrow” - a postcard with such motto encourages clients in the Kharkov shelter to take decisive steps.

In addition to the shelter, which is the municipal institution of the Kharkiv City Council since 2017, there is the "Break the Circle" day care center for victims of domestic and gender-based violence in the city offering emergency accommodation for up to 6 people, two mobile social and psychological assistance teams and a medical and psychological assistance office operating at the Professor Meshchaninov Kharkiv City Emergency and Urgent Care Clinical Hospital.

"Break the Circle" day care center is located at 48 Landau Ave.

The city of Slovyansk also features an extensive system of providing services for victims of violence: there is a mobile team of social and psychological assistance for the victims, which covers the cities of Slovyansk, Svyatohorsk, Lyman, as well as Slovyansk and Oleksandrivka districts, a day-care center of social and psychological assistance and shelter, Polina police mobile team.

In her heartfelt conversation with women who survived domestic violence, Maria Efrosinina has encouraged to take an active stance, have courage and determination. The participants shared their life stories of experiencing unhappiness and of a happy life without violence. The motivational day continued with a lecture from psychologist Olha Alekseyeva about how to love yourself and perceive the value of your own self. At the end of the event, the participants took part in an art therapy session by artist Daria Babich, visualizing their dreams and happiness together.

The visit was carried out in the framework of the "Break the Circle" information campaign by UNFPA, which is being implemented in cooperation with the Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine with the support of the governments of the United Kingdom, Canada and Estonia.