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Programme context and description

Violence against women and girls is one of the most widespread human rights violations in the world. It knows no social, economic or national borders. Gender-based violence (GBV) undermines the health, dignity, security and independence of survivors, but it is still shrouded in a culture of silence. Survivors of violence may suffer from sexual and reproductive health disorders. GBV remains widespread in Ukraine, with the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbating the risks of gender-based violence.

Since 2015, UNFPA GBV Response and Prevention Programme works to develop a comprehensive national system of response and prevention of domestic and gender-based violence in Ukraine. The Programme provides support to the Government of Ukraine to strengthen policy and legal framework, improve access of survivors to quality assistance and transform social norms that condone GBV in Ukrainian society

More about the programme is available here.

“Cities and Communities Free from Domestic Violence”

Since 2020, UNFPA implements the project “Cities and Communities Free from Domestic Violence” to help communities develop effective and sustainable local DV response and prevention systems.

The project supports communities in establishing specialised services for DV survivors, improving multisectoral coordination, awareness-raising and prevention work. 

The project "Cities and Communities Free from Domestic Violence" is implemented in 30 partner cities and communities, namely:

Avanhard, Bila Tserkva, Vinnytsia, Dobropillia, Dnipro, Zaporizhzhia, Kalush, Kyiv, Kostiantynivka, Kramatorsk, Kremenchuk, Kropyvnytskyi, Lubny, Lviv, Mariupol, Melitopol, Mykolaiv, Odesa, Pokrovsk, Poltava, Rokytne, Sievierodonetsk, Starokostiantyniv, Ternopil, Uzhhorod, Kharkiv, Kherson, Khoroshiv, Khotyn, Cherkasy.

More info is available here.

Network of Specialised Services

UNFPA GBV Response and Prevention Programme helped establish accessible and highly specialised services for survivors, such as:


Crisis Rooms

Daycare Centres

Mobile police groups

National toll-free hotline

Psychosocial support mobile teams

Health service delivery points

More about the Programme results is available here.

Career Hub “Break the Circle”

In late 2020, UNFPA with the support of the UK Government established an online women Career Hub “Break the Circle”. The Hub aims to develop the professional potential and financial capacity of women survivors or at risk of GBV to help them build their life free from violence.

Online career hub enables women to get tailored employability support from career counsellors with preparing a CV, developing a career plan and determining professional priorities. Career counsellors can also guide through initial steps with the new job and steer to a stable employment path while in the role. Hub clients are offered vocational and professional courses, training sessions and webinars to develop professional and communication skills. The platform contains career advice, list of vacancies and events announcements.

Women also have access to free sessions with psychologists if they need it. This modality helps survivors secure and maintain employment during turbulent COVID-19 times. More about how the Career Hub “Break the Circle” helps women is available here.

Women from all over Ukraine can discover the wealth of opportunities at

More about the Career Hub “Break the Circle” is available here.

Social Enterprises

In 2021, UNFPA GBV Response and Prevention Programme supported the creation of ten social enterprises to support professional development and provide employment to GBV survivors as part of their economic empowerment to break the circle of violence.

The enterprises are the social business projects of local-based CSOs that received UNFPA funding through competitive selection. The social entrepreneurship initiatives include:

  1. ENJi – Light and Shadow (Kherson, CSO “League of Socially Responsible Women”) – a visual content studio providing photo and video services
  2. GG Space (Mykolaiv, CSO “Innovative Social Solutions”) – a place of comfort for women combining beauty salon, co-working and café
  3. My Space (Poltava, CSO “Light of Hope”) – a printing studio designing and producing prints on fabrics
  4. Source of Beauty (Vinnytsia, Regional Human Rights Organization “Spring of Hope”) – an esthetics studio
  5. Butterfly (Lviv, CSO “Butterfly”) – a social atelier designing and tailoring women’s clothes and accessories
  6. Adoro Café (Kryvyi Rih, CSO “Synergy Hub”) – a craft coffee and confectionery
  7. Dobre Pole (Dobropillia, CSO “Your Chance”) – greenhouse for growing greens and seedlings
  8. New Life (Zaporizhzhia, CSO “Business Ukrainian Women”) – a studio of engraving and laser craftwork
  9. Print Club (Melitopol, CF “Everything is Possible”) – a printing laboratory specialising on making prints on clothes
  10. W2W "Helping Women (Cherkasy, CF “Family LG”) – a sewing studio that makes eco-bags and accessories and is the first social enterprise in Ukraine, where GBV survivors with disabilities work (in wheelchairs).

Diverse and ambitious, the initiatives employ GBV survivors and plan to donate a share of the revenue to GBV response and prevention work in their cities. The social enterprises provide workplaces to 30 women survivors of GBV and offer internships for GBV survivors who seek professional development.

Working in a supportive environment of peers and trained specialists (specialists of daycare centres, career consultants) empowers survivors to overcome their traumatic experience of GBV and economic hurdles faster and more proactively.

"Break the Circle" Campaign

Since 2015, the GBV Response and Prevention Programme has been implementing “Break the Circle” national awareness-raising campaign. It is designed to inform Ukrainians about actions should they witness or experience GBV, available assistance and pathways to it. The campaign challenges perceptions that condone GBV and transforms social beliefs to establish zero tolerance to GBV in Ukrainian society by 2030.

The campaign’s website and social media accounts on Facebook and Instagram daily help thousands of Ukrainians to receive advice on how to break the circle of violence.

Annually, the campaign encourages 15 mln people not to tolerate violence. As of 2021, every 3rd Ukrainian knew about the campaign.

More info about the “Break the Circle” campaign is available here.

Partners and donors

UNFPA GBV Response and Prevention Programme works in cooperation with the Office of Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, Ministry of Social Policy, Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Health and National Police.

The Programme has a vast network of municipal partners, the majority of them are participants of the project “Cities and Communities Free from Domestic Violence”.

The Programme develops strong synergies with CSOs, business companies and think-tanks.

UNFPA GBV Response and Prevention Programme comprises three projects:

  • EMBRACE (Enhancing National and Regional Mechanisms to Build Responsive, Accountable & Cost-Effective System of GBV Response and Prevention) with the support of the UK
  • AMBER (Achieving Municipal Breakthrough in Effective Response to Sexual and Gender-Based Violence) with the support of Canada
  • AURORA (Assisting Ukraine to Rule Out and Respond to Abuse against women) with the support of Estonia.