OSCE launches online resource to combat violence against women

The OSCE Secretariat has launched a new online resource containing help and information pages to support efforts to prevent and combat violence against women. Available in six languages, www.stopvawnow.org/ is designed as a practical tool for officials, law enforcement agencies, NGOs and the wider public in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia as well as Moldova and Ukraine, IPN reports.

According to a press release of the OSCE, the webpage is arranged simply so that users can find the information they need quickly, with information, guidance and key contact telephone numbers relevant to each country. Under the “I need help” section, women who experience violence can find information about who they can contact if they require support, such as the telephone numbers of local NGOs and helplines.

The “I want information" section provides further details on the results and recommendations of the OSCE-led Survey on the Well-being and Safety of Women, which were published earlier this year. It found that 70% of women across South-Eastern and Eastern Europe have experienced some form of violence: sexual, physical, psychological, stalking or sexual harassment, but reporting of incidents remains low. Only 15% of women reported the most serious incident of severe current partner violence to the police.

“The Survey underlined the importance of speaking up and providing women with the resources to report incidents of violence. The webpage will help in this regard and allow women to find a number of alternatives for reporting the violence and getting support,” said Serani Siegel, the Survey's project manager.

The launch of the webpage coincides with the end of the OSCE's “End the Silence campaign on December 10, which was held during the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence international campaign.

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