WRC services are designed to reveal cases of domestic violence as well as its causes and peculiarities in Armenia in order to work out measures to combat domestic violence and to provide adequate assistance to victims subjected to Domestic Violence.
WRC National Hot Line service provides free psychological assistance and legal counseling for women subjected to domestic violence more than 16 years. The service used to operate 24 hours a day covering the whole territory of Armenia until 31 May, 2013, as the Hot Line calls were automatically being transferred to the Shelter phone after 18:30. However, after the mentioned period, the Hot Line operates during WRC working hours (10:00-18:30) considering the end of the project.
Hence, calculating the Hot Line calls for the year of 2013 the following data has been recorded: the total amount of the calls registered was 1902, of this only 1363 calls forming 71.7% were reporting domestic violence (526 primary and 837 follow up calls), 350 calls out of 526 primary calls forming 66.5% were reporting psychological, 168 calls (31.9 %) - physical and 8 calls (1.5 %) sexual violence.
WRC National Hot Line service is covering the whole territory of Armenia and is free of charge. However, not all Armenian women in need can access Hot line because more remote inhabited areas are not linked to the national telephone grid.However, within the reporting period the Hot Line received 269 calls from the regions, 211 of which were primary calls reporting domestic violence (101 calls were reporting psychological violence and 110 – physical violence).
Within the framework of National Hot Line service operation calculations have been made regarding the identity of violators. Out of 1363 calls reporting domestic violence 915 calls (67.1 %) were regarding to violent acts committed by husbands against wives, 127 calls (9.3 %) - violent acts by former husbands against their wives, 76 calls (5.6 %) reporting violent acts by husband’s parents (mother-in-law, father-in-law) against wife, 121 calls (8.9 %) – reporting violence committed by intimate partner, 47 calls (3.5 %) reporting violence against mothers committed by infants, (1.9 %) – 25 calls reporting domestic violence committed by siblings, 26 calls (2 %) - violence against mother-in-law, committed by daughter-in-law/son-in-law and, finally 26 (2 %) calls reporting violence committed by other relatives.
Throughout January and February 2014 the Hot Line has registered 220 calls, of this only 177 calls were reporting domestic violence (73 primary and 104 follow up calls), 60 calls out of 73 primary calls were reporting psychological, 11 calls - physical and 2 calls reporting sexual violence.
Under certain narrow circumstances only telephone conversation is not sufficient enough to provide efficient assistance to victims of domestic violence. There are cases, when personal meeting with victims is extremely important, thatfore woman victims are invited to the Women’s Support and Drop-in Centre, where they are provided with individual psychological and legal counseling assistance.During the reporting period women and their children have visited Women’s Support and Drop-in Centre 759 times: 288 visits of the total number were primary and 471 follow up visits accordingly. Out of the 288 primary visits 193 visits forming 67% of women-victims were referring to psychological abuse in the family, 83 visits (29%) referring to physical and 12 visits (4.1%) to sexual violence.
Throughout January and February, 2014 women and their children have visited Women’s Support and Drop-in Centre 98 times: 30 visits of the total number were primary and 68 follow up visits accordingly. Out of the 30 primary visits 23 visits were referring to psychological abuse in the family, 5 visits were referring to physical violence and 2- sexual violence.
The provision of psychological support aims at overcoming the obstacles to psychological balance and emotional fulfillment. Domestic violence is a complex issue and women experiencing it need individual support. The Center psychologists are working with the women and their children to overcome the stressful situations. While analyzing the main barriers hindering women to leave the perpetrator, the following factors may be outlined: Individual belief system, isolation, financial dependence, emotional and physical impairment, hope, societal values that are strongly correlated.
Beneath the complex assistance WRC also provides legal services including counseling and assistance, namely composition of corresponding documents, application and scripting of written requests for the women victims subjected to domestic violence. Summing up the reporting period of January 1, 2013 - December 31, 2013, the amount of women applying to WSDC for legal counselling and assistance indicates 789 phone counselling and 256 personal counselling visits. Out of 789 phone counselling 212 primary and 577 follow up phone counseling calls delineated, and out of 256 visits 37 primary and 219 follow up visits.
WRC holds Women’s Support Groups for the women subjected to domestic violence. Participation in Support Groups can be a key to unlocking the loneliness, shame, and isolation that surround women victims threatened by domestic violence. Support Group meetings fight this isolation on a number of different levels and the periodic participation to the meetings stimulates the rehabilitation of the psychological balance of the women, and the slogan “You are not alone" is formed to significantly overcome “the victim's syndrome” Throughout 2013 year 12 meetings of Women's Support Group were held with the participation of 75 women.
The Children Support Group meetings are held for junior school aged children with the purpose to integrate the children being violated or witnessed violence in their families. Children experiencing abuse feel isolated and vulnerable. They are starved for attention, affection and approval. They may blame themselves for the abuse, thinking if they had not done or said a particular thing, the abuse would not have occurred. They never know what will trigger the abuse, and therefore they never feel safe. They are always worried for themselves, their mother, and their siblings. The meetings are mainly held with fairy-tale therapy method helping them individually discover new way of their life, analyzing their attitude towards the surrounding world, people and namely their family members. Throughout 2013 year 8 CSG meetings were held with 53 participants involved.
All services, being operated by Women’s
Rights Center serve as data basis for case studies to find out the scales,
forms, geography, causes and consequences of domestic violence for further use
in the advocacy and lobbying process.