Women’s Rights Center works in the following areas:
1) domestic violence against women and their
2) women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights,
3) supplementary activities
against women and their children occurs across the world in various cultures
and affects people of all economic statuses. Domestic violence is any abusive,
violent, coercive, forceful, or threatening act or word inflicted by one member
of a family or household on another. The purpose of domestic violence is to
establish and exert power and control over another. It allows the perpetrator
to gain control of the victim through fear and intimidation. Domestic violence
is a pattern of abusive and threatening behaviors that may include physical,
emotional, economic and sexual violence as well as intimidation, isolation and
coercion. This phenomenon has been usually viewed as a private family
matter that need not involve society, police or government. The problem of
domestic violence is not nation or country-specific - the whole world looks for
effective means towards combating it. Armenia is not an exception among other countries of
the world where domestic violence exists in all its types.
more than 18 years that Women’s Rights Center works on domestic violence in
three directions: law enforcement, supportive services and raising
awareness and educational campaigns manifesting holistic approach to the
problem. The purpose of these combined activities is prevention of
domestic violence in the country, protection of women-victims and their
children and prosecution of perpetrators.
Women’s Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights are important issues for the world society. Everybody
has the right to accessible, affordable and adequate health care. Millions of women every year seek to terminate their unwanted
pregnancies. According to World Health Organization report there are 28
abortions for every 1,000 women of childbearing age globally. In 2008, the estimated annual number of deaths
from unsafe abortion worldwide declined from 56,000 in 2003 to 47,000 in 2008.
Complications from unsafe abortion accounted for an estimated 13% of all
maternal deaths worldwide in both years. Regarding the index of reproductive health Armenia considerably yields to
the European Union indexes. Suffice it to note that the rate of maternal and
child death is several times higher than that of the developed countries.
surgical abortion remains one of the widely used methods for terminating
unwanted pregnancy. Enlargement of induced abortion services is one of
the important steps in improving quality of women’s reproductive health care. Women's
Rights Center was the first to introduce medical abortion as an alternative way
of terminating unwanted pregnancies. Medical abortion is a type of
non-surgical abortion in which pharmaceutical drugs are used to induce
abortion. All activities of Women's Rights Center on safe abortion are realized
with the permission and in cooperation with the Ministry of Health of RA.
Women’s Rights Center pays great importance to
the relationships with other stakeholders, partners and colleagues on all
levels. Our relationships extend into networking and cooperation on local,
national and international levels. The local relationships include but are not
limited to the board membership in Coalition to Stop Violence against Women, membership
in UN Gender Theme Group, Interagency Commission on Combating Gender Based
Violence, Resolution 1325 Armenian Monitoring Group, cooperation
with other local non-governmental organizations and representatives of the
international organizations in Armenia, e.g. UN in Armenia, EU Delegation in
Armenia, US Embassy in Armenia, British Embassy Yerevan, UNHCR, UNFPA, UNDP, OSCE,
and others. The relationships of our organization at the national level refer
to the state governmental institutions, e.g. Yerevan Municipality, Police,
Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Justice,
the National Assembly of RA, different Courts, and others.
|Provision of Supportive Services for Combating Domestic Violence
Rights Center (WRC) Services are
free of charge and are aimed at revealing cases of domestic violence and
providing adequate assistance to women victims of domestic violence and their
children. From 1997 WRC has launched the National Hot Line
service providing free psychological counseling and legal assistance to the abused women and their children. When consulting
by phone is not enough to assist them they are invited to Women's Support
and Drop-In Center (WSDC) for provision of face to face
psychological counseling, legal assistance, attorney’s support in court and
social help. Confidentiality is the primary and the most important principle
according to which the National Hot Line and WSDC services are provided. In
different periods from 2002 till 2013 WRC operated Women’s Support and Drop-In Center not only in Yerevan, but in the 4 regional
centers of the biggest regions (Vanadzor, Gavar, Ijevan, Kapan) and the Emergency
Shelter with Transitional Housing for women victims of domestic
violence and their children. In 2015 - beginning of 2017 we had a Network of 8 Crises Centers: one in Yerevan and seven in the regional centers of 7 regions (Ashtarak, Armavir, Eghegnadzor, Gavar, Gyumri, Ijevan, Vanadzor).
Now our organization operates a Network of 6 Crises Centers (one in Yerevan and five in the regions, located in central regional cities: Gyumri, Vanadzor, Eghegnadzor, Gavar, Ijevan) and also refers beneficiaries to the Emergency Shelter with Transitional Housing. In the last 27 months 95 women and 130 children were hosted at the Emergency Shelter.
All services provided by
Women’s Rights Center serve as a data basis for case studies to find out the scale,
forms, geography, causes and consequences of domestic violence for the further use
in the advocacy and lobbying process through mass media.
WRC National Hot Line Service provides free
psychological counseling, legal assistance and social help to women-victims of
domestic violence and their children by phone. Moreover, the service has
an informative significance for attaining information on domestic violence in
Armenia. It helps to understand the causes and peculiarities of domestic
violence and, consequently, to take appropriate precautions and safety measures
and to provide adequate assistance to domestic violence victims in future.
Considering the fact that the majority of cases can have progressive
character, the National Hot Line Service provides ongoing psychological
counseling and legal assistance. The first psychological counseling is provided
to the caller regardless of the nature of issue. When a caller is already
identified as a victim of domestic violence, she is provided with the full range of
Support and Drop-In Center
different circumstances there are cases when counseling through the Hot Line is
not enough to provide efficient assistance to women victims of domestic
violence. There are cases when the situation is so complicated that face to
face meetings are extremely important. Therefore women
victims and their children are invited to Women’s Support and Drop-In Center
for provision of individual psychological counseling, legal assistance,
attorney's support in court and social help. Within the framework of comprehensive approach WRC
also provides women with legal counseling and
assistance, legal consultation on women's rights, composition of
necessary complaints, claims, and allegations.
Support Group (WSG) meetings are held for women victims of domestic violence who
applied to WRC services. The aim of the meetings is provision
of regular group psychological therapy which is proved to be very effective. Participation in WSG can
be a key to unlocking the loneliness, shame, and isolation that surround abused women. These meetings are
held under the slogans “You are not alone" and “It is not your fault” and
fight this isolation on different levels and periodic participation
in these meetings stimulates the rehabilitation of women's psychological balance.
The concluding part of the meetings is lawyer's consultation on women's legal
rights and Q&A sessions for the participants. Throughout the period of January 01 - July 31, 2017 seven meetings
of Women's Support Group were held with 34 participants.
Children Support Group (CSG) meetings are held for
beneficiaries’ children of different ages with the purpose to unite children
who are subjected and/or witnessed violence in their families. The children who have
experienced this kind of abuse are very vulnerable. These meetings are organized in the friendly and comfortable manner
and our psychologists use different therapy methods including fairy-tale
therapy, art therapy, drama therapy to help these children discover new way of
life analyzing their attitude towards the surrounding world, people and their
family members. Throughout the period of January 01 - July 31, 2017 three CSG
meeting was held with 16 participants.