Even before COVID-19, domestic violence was one of the most widespread human rights violations in Ukraine. Fueled by the restrictions on movement, the vicious circle of economic, psychological and social stress, domestic violence has multiplied, spreading across the world as a shadow pandemic.
According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, during the last six months, National police received over 100,000 calls related to domestic violence, which represents a 40% increase in comparison to last year.
PRAVO Police programme funded by European Union and implemented by UNOPS in partnership with the national Government launched a 16 Days Against Gender-Based Violence campaign aimed at raising awareness of domestic violence and putting this issue high on the Government agenda.
Aiming to rally the Government support and put the fight against domestic violence high on the Government agenda, PRAVO Police produced a series of videos with senior government officials speaking in one voice about zero tolerance to domestic violence. The First Lady, Deputy Prime Minister, Deputy Speaker of the Parliament and Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Social Policy called for action to stop domestic violence.
Aiming to raise awareness of the harsh realities of domestic violence in Ukraine UNOPS organised outdoor exhibitions of real objects of domestic violence provided by police. Each exhibit (e.g. a teddy bear, a hair dryer, etc) had a QR code that would activate a dedicated web page with real-life stories from police protocols on domestic violence incidents. The exhibitions were held on central squares of Kyiv and 24 largest cities across Ukraine.
Quite often, violence victims and witnesses do not have access to information on the available assistance. UNOPS placed advertising posters ("metrolights") on 11 most central metro stations in Kyiv informing people of the chatbot app for popular messengers. Developed by the Ministry of Internal Affairs it provides the most essential information on gender-based violence and contact details of all available social services, such as shelters, hotlines, free of charge legal aid, and psychological support lines.
In order to support the National Police in responding to domestic violence cases, UNOPS delivered nine patrol cars and nine police cars for domestic violence mobile response groups of the National police of Ukraine. The cars will be delivered to nine regions across Ukraine.