Women`s Rights Center

 

            
Domestic Violence National Hot Line
   
   0800-80-850 or
 +374(10) 54-28-28  


 


  

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WRC Activities

   

The WRC works mainly in two areas:

a/ prevention of domestic violence against  women and their children;

b/ women’s reproductive and sexual health and rights.

 

 

 

 

 

Domestic Violence Prevention 

 

The problem of Domestic Violence is not nation or country-specific - the whole world is looking for an effective means of combating it. Armenia is not an exception as well, where domestic violence exists in all its types. Today it is an incontestable fact.

Domestic violence in Armenia used to be considered as a “private issue,” a family’s internal problem that do not need and not to be dealt with intervention of society. Women’s Rights Center is working on prevention of domestic violence in the country about 16 years, providing holistic approach to the problem. Working mainly in the sphere of providing assistance to women victims of violence and their children, we very often encounter a number of problems and difficulties.

These obstacles are stipulated with lack of relevant legal field, mechanisms and infrastructures, absence of services for the victims of domestic violence and lack of information in the society that caused formation of indifferent attitude of the society towards the domestic violance issue.

Therefore, WRC activities are directed to cover those fields and reduce to minimum the negative impact caused by the absance or lack of relevant tools mentioned above.

 Women’s Reproductive Health and Rights is another important issue for world society.

Millions of women every year seek to terminate their pregnancies – the estimates based on figures for the year 2000 indicate that out of 210 million pregnancies worldwide, approximately 46 million ended in induced abortion. Nearly half of these abortions were considered to be unsafe (performed by unskilled providers or under unhygienic conditions or both) and resulted in 67,900 deaths.

Armenia has one of the highest abortion rates in the region (2.6 abortions per woman). One factor contributing to high abortion rate is the low use of modern contraception. Expanding choice of abortion services is one of the important steps in improving the quality of women’s reproductive health care.In Armenia, like many of its neighboring countries, abortion is a major method of birth control.

An alternative way to surgical abortion is medical abortion, which is important to introduce and offer to women. For almost two decades now, medical abortion using mifepristone and misoprostol has been shown to be a safe, effective, and acceptable option for terminating unwanted pregnancies. Research focusing on dosage, route of administration, timing of mifepristone and misoprostol administration, gestational age limits, and location of misoprostol administration seeks to improve treatment regimens even further so that they empower women, minimize side effects, maximize efficacy, and are simple enough to administer in rural areas where health services may be poorly equipped.

WRC in cooperation with the Ministry of Health of RA works towards professional capacity building of gynecologists to use medical abortion as safe, effective, affordable and acceptable methods of family planning and alternative to surgery. 2 new medicines – misoprostol and mifepristone have been registered in Armenia and about 700 women with unwanted pregnancy were provided with free relevant medicine and medical assistance during 2009-2010 years.

A monitoring and evaluation research study dating from the period of April, 2013 - 30 September, 2013 was held in 5 hospitals in Yerevan, Gyumri and Vanadzor, namely, Republican Institute of Perinatology, Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Health, Yerevan State Medical University, Centre of Family Planning and Sexual Health, Gyumri Maternity Hospital, Vanadzor Medical Center. The research is aimed at following up as how the abortion in the above mentioned 5 research sites was done during the mentioned period, whether doctors inform patients about medical abortion, its benefits, as well as side effects or not, whether the practice of medical abortion has been increased ever since it has been practiced in Armenia, etc.

About 250 women in the clinics who have had a medical abortion were investigated. The results of the research study showed that all the cases of women under examination were engaged successfully.

Alongside with its main working directions (i.e. prevention of domestic violence and women’s reproductive health and rights) WRC carry out Supplementary Activities to reach best results in its work and to cover all spheres of women's rights protection. WRC participates in different meetings, discussions, and actions concerning women's rights protection.

 
Provision of Supportive Services on Combating Domestic Violence Issue

WRC Activities

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.

News
Provision of Supportive Services on Combating Domestic Violence Issue
Elaboration of Appropriate Legal Mechanisms
Awareness Raising and Educational Campaigns
Awareness Raising on Reproductive and Sexual Health and Rights
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