First specialized service for victims of sexual violence launched in Moldova

The first specialized service for victims of sexual violence was inaugurated in Ungheni. The service offers the victims of sexual violence access to medical, legal, psychological and social assistance in one location, IPN reports.

The service was created as part of the EVA project ‘Strengthened Gender Action in Cahul and Ungheni districts’, funded by the European Union and implemented by UN Women in partnership with UNICEF Moldova.

“It is a pilot project we awaited. We cooperated and continue to cooperate with the multidisciplinary teams as the people need us and need specialized services and we are glad that this objective was achieved,” said Tatiana Lazar, deputy head of Ungheni district.

Minister of Labor and Social Protection Alexei Buzu noted that the ensuring of a multidisciplinary response is a challenge in addressing gender-based violence and this implies active leadership. The service is part of a complex process and a model that can be replicated nationwide. “Any reform, any program will succeed if we offer conditions for our mates from the front line. This implies the formulation of a clear view in the system, ensuring of investments in knowledge, skills and also salaries for those from the front line and the promotion of efficient management and pro-active leadership,” stated the official.

“The victims of sexual violence should be able to bank on the fact that they will be welcomed and helped in a professional way, in a safe environment. They need to feel understood and safe when they will interact with the multidisciplinary teams. Today we open the first service for victims of sexual violence in the country, but will not stop here. During the next few years, we will launch such support series in the North and the Center of the Republic of Moldova. My message for the victims of sexual violence is: “Here you will be listened to and helped. Don’t hesitate to report cases of sexual violence. The abusers must be punished,” said the EU Ambassador to Moldova Jānis Mažeiks.

Dominika Stojanoska, UN Women Moldova Country Representative, noted that the integrated approach is crucial with all the services in one location for supporting the victims of sexual violence the best.

Alexandru Gasnaș, secretary of state of the Ministry of Health, said that to efficiently solve complex problems in society, it is important to adopt an integrated approach to services. The borrowed models can be viable only if they are adjusted to the situation in Moldova, to perceptions and experiences.

The number of reported cases of domestic violence and gender-based violence has increased the last few years. In 2022, there were issued 5,907 protective orders, as opposed to 2,161 in 2017. The women and girls feel more powerful and safe following the rise in the number of personalized safety plans issued by the law enforcement agencies - 4,843 in 2022 as against 3,920 a year before.

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