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UNFPA Honorary Ambassador Maria Efrosinina took stock of the domestic violence response actions in Odesa

The city of Odesa is one of the best examples in Ukraine of a quality and harmonious implementation of the Law of Ukraine "On Prevention and Countering Domestic Violence" through the interaction of police units, social authorities, child services, the Center for Social Services, units of the Department of Social Policy, justice bodies, courts, education and health institutions.

Together with Maria, we visited the Odesa City Day Care Center for Social and Psychological Rehabilitation "Break the Circle" and a shelter for persons affected by domestic and/or gender-based violence. In the center, victims can receive comprehensive assistance: psychological, social, socio-medical, informational and legal aid. The shelter is designed to accommodate 14 women and has been completely filled since the first day of its opening on May 31.

At the Day Care Center Maria Efrosinina also spoke with specialists of mobile social and psychological assistance teams. In total, there are two such teams operating in Odessa, which are an integral part of the city's victim assistance system.

This visit was followed by a motivational day for women experiencing violence. Together with Maria, the women spoke about the hardships they endured and their dreams for the future. Psychologist Olha Alekseyeva helped the participants to have a "third person" look at their lives and to understand whether there was enough respect and love for their inner self. Women's photographer Lera Polska conducted an inspiring posing master class that made the girls face their feeling of awkwardness or discomfort and gain confidence in their beauty.  The motivational day prompted the participants to remember the importance of believing in oneself and in their happy future without violence.

Odesa is covered by UNFPA's national program "A Comprehensive Approach to Violence Against Women and Girls in Ukraine", which is implemented in cooperation with the Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine with the support of the governments of the United Kingdom, Canada and Estonia.