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The facility will be a safe place for women who have suffered  from various forms of gender-based violence, where they can temporarily stay to receive the psychological, social and legal support they need to restore their own inner strengths and make decisions about their future lives.

“Around the world, too many women are subject to violence from close partners,” said Janthomas Hiemstra, UNDP Country Director.

“Ukraine, together with the rest of the global community, has committed to eliminating all forms of violence against women by 2030, in public and private spheres of life. Access to a shelter is in many cases a painful but necessary step to break the circle of violence, which, as we know, rarely stops by itself.”

Police reported 4,320 calls related to domestic violence in Donetsk Oblast in 2017.

The opening of the shelter will give more opportunities both to survivors of violence and for agencies and services (social, law enforcement, and legal) to respond to cases of violence against women. Particularly, in light of the recently adopted Law “On Preventing and Combating Domestic Violence” which stipulates the creation of a sufficient number of shelters for survivors of domestic violence, the opening of such a center in Donetsk Oblast is an important milestone.

“The Center in Slovyansk should be the start of an entire chain of places where gender-based violence survivors can find help when there are no other solution. Shelter is not only the end point, when there is no other choice, but also a way to get back to normal life”, said Caspar Peek, UNFPA Representative in Ukraine.