MINSK, 1 December (BelTA) – Belarus will receive international technical assistance to implement the initiative on combating gender-based violence, UNFPA Country Director in Belarus Caspar Peek said at the presentation of the project “Strengthening the national capacity to counteract gender violence (particularly domestic violence)”, BelTA has learned.
Gender-based violence remains one of the most actual problems of the modern society. Protection from aggression is needed not only from the moral point of view or in the context of the protection of human rights. It is also a prerequisite for economic and social progress throughout the world. Initiatives to counteract gender violence are important, and will be assisted by international organizations, Caspar Peek added.
Belarus Deputy Interior Minister Nikolai Melchenko stressed the importance of cooperation in the protection of life and health, protection against violence and assisting the victims of aggression. Cooperation with international partners is well-established. One of the examples is the annual prevention campaign “Home without violence”.
“The problem of domestic violence does exist. The victims are mainly women and children. The preventive measures that we have been taken help reduce the level of household crime,” Nikolai Melchenko said.
According to the world statistics, one in three women gets subjected to physical or sexual violence at the hands of the person she is familiar with. The national representative (comparative) studies undertaken in 2014 show that three in four Belarusians (women and men) have been subjected to domestic violence at one or other point in their lives. Almost one in every three women and one in four men have suffered physical abuse. 37% of women and 28% of men were subjected to economic violence, and 18% of women and 12% of men to sexual abuse.
The project will be implemented in 2016-2018 jointly by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Interior Ministry of Belarus with financial support from the Government of the United Kingdom and the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA). It aims to strengthen the national capacity to counteract gender-based violence (particularly domestic violence) and to prevent its manifestations. It provides for improving the legal and social support for victims of domestic violence, promoting inter-agency cooperation in responding to domestic violence, strengthening the capacity of non-governmental organizations, and raising the awareness of this problem.
Plans have been made to draft a comprehensive law on domestic violence prevention, to test the models of work with perpetrators of domestic violence in Minsk, Grodno, and Kobrin. A nationwide toll-free phone line for victims of violence will be launched.