NEWS // 

Twenty years old Anahit says: Men should be in the frontier of breaking down gender barriers!


Gender-based violence (GBV) is a major human rights threat and public health problem throughout the world. This type of violence is frequently invisible since it happens behind closed doors. Moreover, legal systems and cultural norms often do not treat it as a crime, but rather as a "private" family matter or a normal part of life. GBV is a phenomenon that is found in every country of the world and which reflects women's subordinate status in society. Usually GBV victims do not tell that they have been violated, because they are afraid of their husbands, they don’t trust those who are trying to give a hand, they are always in stress. These factors make difficulties to establish relations with the victims in order to help them.

The perception among Armenian population of the gender based violence and society’s stereotypes that are quite troubling. Thus 22% of Armenian women and about one third of men agree that certain reasons are justifying a husband beating his wife (Demographic and Health Survey/DHS Armenia, 2005, provides latest and comparatively credible data on this matter). Both women and men with higher education are less likely to justify gender based violence, as are women and men who are employed for cash.

About quarter thousands of women and girls - victims of domestic violence and leaving under permanent stress of gender based violence have been trained by the Consortium of three local organisations led by ICHD. The partners have targeted a variety of risk groups ranging from orphanages, care centres, hostels for poor families to the patients of surgical, neurosurgical, traumatological, gynaecological clinics.

The special attention was paid to the confidence building among the victims. Women and girls have been also trained in individual protection to ensure their physical security. They have been particularly informed about the use and availability of the psychological counseling for the GBV victims. Free individual professional counseling has been provided to the victims of domestic violence.

Fifty seven victims of the GBV (all women) received psychological counseling and practical aid. They have been offered comprehensive assistance including financial, medical, legal, vocational, child care and other free services using the resources of the consortium members and their partners. The trainings helped women and girls to get psychological help, relevant jobs, legal consultancy, social security, as well restored their self-confidence and helped them to be reintegrated in the society.

Twenty years old Anahit, participant of the trainings says: “Men should be in the frontier of breaking down gender barriers that are a hindrance to women's advancement!”

The initiative of the Consortium partners have both mitigated the negative impact of the violence and addressed the very roots of the domestic violence in each particular case, helping women to live their lives in a violence-free environment.



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