On 28 November, a round table “Mainstreaming domestic violence and integrated approach to victim assistance” took place in Grodno.

The event was organized as part of the international technical assistance project “Strengthening national capacity to counteract gender-based violence (with focus on domestic violence) in the Republic of Belarus”.

The round table brought together the representatives of the Ministries of Internal Affairs and Labour and Social Protection of the Republic of Belarus, Grodno regional committee for labour, employment, and social protection, the Office of the Prosecutor General, Grodno social and educational centre, Grodno Regional Organization of the Belarusian Red Cross, territorial social service centres of Leninski and Oktiabrski districts of Grodno, Kobrin territorial social service centre, and the national hotline for the victims of domestic violence maintained by Gender Perspectives, an international nongovernmental organization.

In the opening speech UN Resident Coordinator in Belarus Joanna Kazana-Wisniowiecki marked that Belarus had achieved a notable progress in counteracting domestic violence. The country proclaimed its adherence to implementation at the national level of the Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals and joined a number of international treaties and conventions thus making the commitment to counteract violence against women and domestic violence.

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At the same time, the latest domestic violence statistics in Belarus demonstrates that this issue continues to demand a proper and comprehensive attention.

Ms. Kazana-Wisniowiecki spoke with deep satisfaction of the progress achieved by the Government and nongovernmental organizations in the field of combatting domestic violence. In particular, the development and testing of the inter-sectorial assistance mechanism for domestic violence victims and a model of integrated work with men perpetrating violence against women, and inclusion of nongovernmental associations in the list of entities involved in countering domestic violence. She urged to start applying these methods on a daily basis as soon as possible.

As part of the event, a comparative analysis was conducted with regard to practical realization of the inter-sectorial cooperation system for responding to domestic violence under the inter-sectorial cooperation protocol using the real cases of Grodno since development and signing of the protocol up to now.

Gender Perspectives representative voiced the recommendations for the personnel of territorial centres for social services and provided an algorithm of referral to specialists for domestic violence victims.

The round table participants discussed the role of law enforcement bodies in implementation of inter-sectorial approach to support of families affected by domestic violence, experience of cooperation among educational establishments and social protection services, the national hotline for domestic violence victims, cooperation with all the entities involved in domestic violence prevention, and practice of responding to domestic violence through inter-agency cooperation in Kobrin and Pinsk districts of Brest region.

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As part of the event, a visit to the Grodno crisis room for temporary accommodation of vulnerable foreign citizens, stateless persons, and Belarusian citizens was organized.

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