Beating means loving
According to
the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
over 1,1 million Ukrainian women
suffer from physical, sexual
or emotional violence in their families.

Only 10% of them will seek help.

(Source: ukraine.unfpa)

The Ukranian Police does not always deal with these cases.
This is pointed out by Senior Police Lieutenant of the Lviv Police Force,
Julia Taravska:

"Police often does not get involved
because Ukrainians think that domestic violence is
a family problem that needs to be solved within the family."

Julia Taravska
Inspector of Public Relations Department of the Patrol Police in Lviv Oblast, Senior police lieutenant

Why do only 10% seek help?

The UN identifies several reasons:


There is a Ukrainian belief that beating means loving and inner conflicts should not be shared with others.

Many women do not know where to get help from.

Women don't trust organisations, who provide help. Trust of the police is also low.

Many women don't see themselves as victims when getting constantly accused or controlled (by their partner).
He had beaten me up before. Me and my kids ran away for a month and searched for another places to live. But I turned back to him because of the children.

- Olena
There is a way out
Olga Karayeva is the manager of the women's shelter 'Walnut House'. There she helps the women that reach out.

In 2010 Walnut House was started by Yuriy Lopatinskyy as shelter for women in crisis. Many of the women, that stay there, have fled an abusive man. At Walnut House these find a safe home 'til they can get back on their feet. Between 8 and 13 women can stay there at a time.

The shelter is largely funded by a catering service and three cafés in Lviv. This part of Walnut House started in 2012 with a bakery and has been steadily expanding since then.

Olga Karayeva needed help herself a few years ago and reached out to Walnut House.

The first step is income
Walnut house is set up so that the women there find work, before they move out of the shelter. A lot of these women were completely dependend on the income of their husband. This way they couldn't get away from the perpetrators.

Some of the women, that stayed in Walnut House, found work in the organisation's catering service and cafés.

40 % of the revenue of these businesses go towards funding the shelter.
Moving on
86 women have lived in the Walnut House shelter.

Out of these women 86% have moved out and have not gone back to their abusive husbands. That is what Walnut House considers a success. It's the most important part - that they don't go back.
As a society we are all guilty, she did it,
because we all stepped aside.

- Olga about a woman who killed her husband that beat her
Domestic violence according to The law
Systematic physical, psychological or economic violence against a spouse, a former spouse, or another person that the perpetrator is or used to be in a family-like or close relationship that leads to physical or psychological suffering, harms the victim's health, causes disability, emotional dependence, or impairs the quality of life of the victim."
(ЗАКОН УКРАЇНИ, No. 2227 VIII, Розділ XIII, Стаття 126)
Petro Poroshenko (president from 2014-2019)
signs a law in December 2017 on prevention and counteraction to domestic violence.

No. 2227 VIII was fully implemented in January 2019.

Photo by:
People who break the law can face up to two years in prison.
No.2227 VIII also tackles rape, forced marriage, forced abortion etc.
"The number of calls did not increase in the first six months after the law was introduced."

"It is common that women are afraid to leave their aggressive husbands because they are not financially independent.

Julia Taravska
Inspector of Public Relations Department of the Patrol Police in Lviv Oblast, Senior police lieutenant

Where can you find help as a woman in Lviv, if you're suffering from domestic violence?
UNFPA Mobile Team
Service: Psychological and legal assistance
Service: Special Lviv Police unit for domestic violence
Call 112
"Zhinochi Perspektyvy" Center (Women's Perspective Center)
Service: May provide shelter. Will provide social, psychological and legal assistance.
Address: 36 Chervonoyi Kalyny St., Lviv
Phone: 0322-95 5060 / 067-674-0770 / 0-800-500-335
Charity organization "Salus"
Service: Psychological and legal assistance
Address: P.O. Box 320, Lviv
Phone: 0322-37-9505
Charity organization "Regional Center for Social Adaptation"
Service: Assistance to women and victims of family violence
Address: 56 Lychakivska St., Lviv
Phone: 0322-75-1051 / 067-672-8030

This list was last updated in July 2019.
The project was created by Valentyna Kuz, Ani Nazaryan, Tim Bergholdt Barsøe, Larissa Eckhardt and the mentor Zhanna Ozirna

July 2019, UCU Lviv, Ukraine
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