The International public association (IPA) Gender Perspectives provides assistance to domestic violence survivors, both women and men, trains professionals in state, non profit and international organizations, advocates for the adoption of a targeted domestic violence prevention legislation in Belarus as well as improving the existing legislation, and shapes the public opinion on these issues by engaging in robust cooperation with mass media outlets.

Our organization runs the national domestic violence hotline 8 801 100 8 801 launched on August 13, 2012. People calling the hotline have access to free mental health support, legal counsel and social assistance confidentially and anonymously from 8 am to 8 pm. The national domestic violence hotline in Belarus has so far received 13,8 thousands calls (by April 1, 2020).

In November 2019 the IPA Gender Perspectives website www.genderperspectives.by and the messenger Telegram opened access to a chatbot, a new service for domestic violence survivors and witnesses of this crime, which allows to receive vital information concerning mental health counseling, legal counsel, and social support. It is called “Help for domestic violence survivors” (@HelpHotlineBot). The chatbot contains the addresses and telephone numbers for organizations working in the field of domestic violence prevention in Belarus, timely provides information on options for seeking multiple kinds of assistance, including emergency contacts, searches for a shelter or a crisis center. The service is also intended for professional use by the specialists working in domestic violence prevention.

Our other major area of work lies in the field of thematic educational activities and training of professionals working in prevention and direct service providers for domestic violence survivors. These include mental health and social workers, as well as other professionals employed in the social protection system, law enforcement, education and health industries, prosecutor’s office, court system and other stakeholders.

IPA Gender Perspectives is an active partner in the work to further develop the national domestic violence legislation. Based on multiple years of relevant hands-on experience, our organization has prepared recommendations “What Should Domestic Violence Legislation in Belarus Include.” Together and in cooperation with other partner women’s rights organizations we drafted basic principles, which must become part of the legislation developed.

Our representatives became part of the working group organized by the Ministry of Interior in Belarus to improve and further develop the national domestic violence legislation bringing it in compliance with the international requirements and standards.

IPA Gender Perspectives works closely with the media to highlight the domestic violence urgency in the Belarusian society, expose its root causes, dire social consequences, as well as to inform about the options to seek assistance for domestic violence survivors. We develop and publish multiple informational and educational materials, including leaflets, brochures, manuals, catalogues, as well as video aids.

Our organization has been an active member and a representative of the European WAVE “Women Against Violence Europe” network. We rigorously study the international best practices and share our own experiences, contribute to annual network report drafting and take part in annual network conferences.

Since 2020 we have also joined the MenEngage Europe Alliance to build more capacity and knowledge around the work on engaging men and boys for gender equality.