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Program context and description

Since 2015, the UNFPA program has been working to create a national system for combating and preventing domestic and gender-based violence in Ukraine:

  • development of policy and legal framework
  • establishing croos-sectoralcooperation (national and regional levels)
  • creation and operation of specialized services for GBV survivors (hotline, shelters, day centers, crisis rooms, emergency rooms, mobile psychosocial support teams, mobile police teams to respond to domestic violence)
  • raising awareness and changing public attitudes to the problem of violence through Break the Circle campaign

The Programme is supported by the Governments of the United Kingdom, Canada and Estonia.

In 2020 new project "Cities and communities free of domestic violnce" was established. 

The Project aimed to developing municipal systems for preventing and combating domestic and gender-based violence ‘Cities Free of Domestic Violence’ was launched in May 2020. Among the cities with population of over 50,000 people from 12 Oblasts of Ukraine, a competition was announced, according to the results of which 15 cities became partners of the Project in 2020-2021, namely Vinnytsia, Dnipro, Kyiv, Kostiantynivka, Kramatorsk, Kremenchuk, Lviv, Melitopol, Mykolaiv, Odesa, Pokrovsk, Poltava, Severodonetsk, Kharkiv, Kherson. In the framework of cooperation, UNFPA provides technical support to partner cities, which includes establishing cooperation between agencies and services implementing the measures to prevent and combat domestic violence; establishing and ensuring the operation of specialized support services for victims: Day Centers, Crisis Rooms, shelters, etc.; training of specialists and providers of specialized services, as well as organization and holding of information campaigns.

In 2020 The President of Ukraine signed a Decree developed with the expert support of UNFPA, which calls for immediate implementation of measures to ensure the protection of victims of violence and its prevention. In particular, the Decree envisages:

  • Professional development of experts in this field, improvement of the activity of specially authorized entities, introduction of new forms of information collection, as well as new principles of non-violent behavior and non-discrimination in education institutions;
  • Approval of the State Social Program on Prevention and Combating Domestic and Gender-Based Violence for the period until 2025;
  • Improving the coordination and interaction of actors implementing measures to prevent and combat domestic violence, etc. 

Geographic coverage

The program is being implemented in 11 oblasts of Ukraine: Donetsk, Luhansk, Kharkiv, Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporizhzhya, Lviv, Vinnytsya, Kherson, Odesa, Kyiv, Mykolayiv.
Project  "Cities and communities free from domestic violence" serving in 15 cities*: Vinnytsia, Dnipro, Kyiv, Kostiantynivka, Kramatorsk, Kremenchuk, Lviv, Melitopol, Mykolaiv, Odesa, Pokrovsk, Poltava, Severodonetsk, Kharkiv, Kherson.

Partners and funding

Partners: Ministry of Social Policy, Ministry of Internal Affairs, National Police of Ukraine, Ministry of Health, local authorities at oblast and local level, NGOs, scientific institutes.


Implementing partners:

  • ICF «Ukrainian Foundation of Public Health»
  • La Strada civil society organization
  • Charitable foundation "Female Health and Family Planning"
  • NGO Council of Women of the Donetsk Oblast
  • East European Institute of Reproductive Health
  • NGO Internews Ukraine


Program funding*

  • Government of the Great Britain;
  • Government of Canada;
  • Government of Estonia.

More about UNFPA work and results of 2015-2020 program cycle:

Accessible help to the survivors

Mobile social and psychologic assistance teams

Mobile social and psychological assistance teams is a specially formed taskforce of specialists (practical psychologist, social worker) providing both emergency and scheduled social and psychological gender-based assistance to the victims, including persons under 18, through response and referral, as well as field trips to address such incidents in a specially organized vehicle, or providing assistance in a specially designated/adapted facility based on social services for families, children and youth or other social services providers in the settlements of regions covered with the project.


In 2018, mobile teams of social and psychological assistance were recognized as an effective tool for responding to cases of violence. The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine has approved the Standard Regulations on the Mobile Groups of Social and Psychological Assistance to Survivors of Domestic Violence and / or Violence based on Sex. Starting in 2018, mobile teams will be formed at the centers of social services for families, children and youth or other general or specialized support services for victims.


Statistics show that more than 60% of victims first sought help specifically from the specialists of such mobile teams. Contact details of mobile teams area available here:  


UNFPA Ukraine supported:

  • 6 mobile teams of social and psychological assistance to ATO/JFO veterans and their families working in the Kyiv and Mykolayiv Oblasts
  • 7 municipal mobile teams of social and psychological assistance in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts. 

More about PSS teams:


Centers of assistance to victims of violence

11 shelters for women* affected by violence are opened in these Ukrainian cities:

  1. Municipally-owned facility of the Kharkiv City Council "Center for assistance to victims of domestic violence", Kharkiv and Municipally-owned facility of the Kharkiv Oblast Council "Crisis Social Center for Women", Krasnopavlivka village, Kharkiv oblast;
  2. Center for social and psychological assistance to persons affected by violence or abuse, Mariupol, Donetsk oblast;
  3. Center for social and psychological assistance to persons affected by violence or abuse, Slovyansk, Donetsk oblast;
  4. Shelter for women victims of violence, Berdyansk, Zaporizhzhya oblast;
  5. Municipally-owned facility "Crisis Center for Women Affected by Domestic Violence "With Hopes to the Future" of Kryvyi Rih City Council, Kryvyi Rih, Dnipropetrovsk oblast;
  6. Shelter for the temporary stay of women affected by domestic violence, Vinnytsya.
  7. Shelter in Odesa
  8. Shelter in Kherson
  9. Shelter in Rubizhne, Luhansk oblast
  10. Shelter in Myrnograd, Donetsk oblsat
  11. Shelter in Dnipro


Crisis rooms

As part of the program, 3 crisis rooms have been opened, which ensure the safety of victims of violence in an emergency. A person can be taken to the crisis room by the police or social services around the clock and stay there for up to 10 days. Crisis rooms operate in Kyiv (right and left banks) and Kharkiv.

Day centers of social and psychological assistance

The Day Care Center for Social and Psychological Assistance is an institution where victims of violence can receive counseling during the day.

The program opened 6 day centers in Berdyansk, Mariupol, Odessa, Slovyansk, Kharkiv, Kherson.

More about day centers:

24/7 National Hotline on Domestic Violence, Human Trafficking and Gender Discrimination - 116 123 or 0 500 800 335

Information, psychologist's and legal consultations.

Also in 2019, the National Call Center was established, which operates at number 15-47.



Emergency aid points along the contact line

10 pouts provide:

  • emergency care for victims of rape;
  • family planning services;
  • STI prevention and treatment;
  • basic medicines,
  • HIV testing.


Specialist training:

  • POLINA mobile teams in Dnipro, Odesa, Mariupol
  • 102 line operators and dispatchers
  • Medical staff
  • Providers of social and psychological services

Expert support

  • A National Coordinating Council on the Prevention of Domestic Violence, Gender Equity and Human Trafficking.
  • Adoption of draft laws by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine: "On Preventing and Combating Domestic Violence", "On Amendments to Certain Laws of Ukraine Concerning the Ratification of the Council of Europe Convention on the Prevention of Violence against Women and Domestic Violence and the Fight Against these Phenomena."
  • Development of a number of bylaws (CMU Decrees, orders of central executive bodies, etc.) necessary for the implementation of the Law "On Prevention and Combating Domestic Violence", in particular regarding interagency cooperation of the relevant actors, providing specialized support services for victims and police response.

In 2020 UNFPA trained a cohort of 45 municipal consultants from 15 partner cities to provide expert support for the development of effective systems of prevention and combating GBV in cities.

UNFPA strengthened the capacity of 754 responsible actors and service providers from 15 partner cities to respond effectively to GBV and provide quality support to all those in need.

More than 5,300 dedicated experts improved their knowledge on responding to GBV and providing services to victims after completing a 24-hour comprehensive online course developed by the UNFPA.

UNFPA trained 67 NGOs from the Eastern Ukraine in creating mechanisms for early prevention of GBV and mobilizing communities to prevent violence.

Break the Circle information campaign

The campaign is aimed at fostering zero tolerance towards gender-based violence in the society.


More about Break the Circle:



2017 -  Economic costs of violence against women in Ukraine. Available here.

2018 -  All-Ukrainian research «Masculinity Today: Men's Attitudes to Gender Stereotypes And Violence Against Women». Available here.

2019 - Research "Gender Equality and Response to Domestic Violence in the Private Sector of Ukraine: Call for Action".



*data as of MArch 2021.




Report on 2020:

Specialized services and institutions established under the Programme provided the necessary assistance to 47,387 victims: 

  • All-Ukrainian round-the-clock hotline for victims of GBV provided information, psychological and legal advice to 19,920 persons (81% women, 19% men).
  • 6 mobile teams of social and psychological assistance to ATO/JFO veterans and their families working in the Kyiv and Mykolayiv Oblasts provided comprehensive psychological assistance and social support to 3,846 persons (31% women, 69% men).
  • 7 municipal mobile teams of social and psychological assistance provided psychological counseling to 683 victims (82% women, 18% men) in the Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts.
  • 11 shelters provided safe accommodation and comprehensive assistance to 437 victims (203 women and 234 children) in 8 Oblasts.
  • 6 Day Crisis Centers provided social and psychological counseling to 3,174 victims (2,266 women and 908 children) in 5 Oblasts.
  • 3 Crisis Rooms provided urgent safe shelter and crisis psychological counseling to 307 victims (247 women and 60 children) in 2 Oblasts.
  • 2 mobile clinics provided vital medical care and referrals to specialized services to 7,964 residents of 58 remote settlements and areas along the contact line in the East of Ukraine.
  • 17 medical care units provided medical counseling and assistance to 11,056 women in 8 Oblasts.

In 2020, UNFPA supported the expansion of a network of quality specialized services for victims of GBV.

Two new shelters were opened in Rubizhne and Myrnohrad (in particular in cooperation with UNDP) 

Two Crisis Rooms were opened in Kyiv (on the right and left banks of the city)

1 Day Center was opened in Mariupol

UNFPA contributed to capacity building of the state hotline 15-47 operators on prevention and combating domestic and gender-based violence.

Work with young people to prevent domestic violence 

In 2020, the educational project ‘(No) Trivia in Relationships’ appeared on Instagram, the most popular social media among Ukrainian youth. The new platform hosts training sessions with youth blogger Asia Say and other opinion leaders through live streaming with instant feedback. New useful informational tips appear here on a daily basis, and invited guests share their experiences of overcoming toxic relationships. In total, more than 25,000 young people joined a series of training discussions with opinion leaders as part of the ‘(No) Trivia in Relationships’ project and learned to detect early signs of toxic relationships and prevent violence. 


In 2020, UNFPA conducted a national survey ‘Sexual Harassment in Public Spaces’. 30% of respondents were sexually harassed in public spaces, and most of them encountered such harassment 2 or more times. Women much more often were sexually harassed in public spaces: 42% of women and 15% of men reported such experiences.

More is available in Ukrainian here.