News

01 November 2019

Member States and gender advocates call for urgent and effective measures to accelerate gender equality

From young gender equality advocates to high-ranking government officials, key stakeholders from North America, Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia called for the urgent realization of women’s and girl’s human rights and for turning the commitments to gender equality into reality.

18 October 2019

La Strada NGO platform calls on governments to improve access to justice for victims of crime and to ensure that victims have access to protection, assistance and compensation

On the occasion of European Day against Trafficking in Persons, the La Strada NGO platform calls on governments to improve access to justice for victims of crime and to ensure that victims have access to protection, assistance and compensation. Compensation and recovery of unpaid wages are crucial aspects of access to justice for victims of crime.

22 June 2019

New international labour standard to combat violence, harassment, at work agreed

The Centenary International Labour Conference has adopted a new Convention and Recommendation to combat violence and harassment in the workplace. A new Convention and accompanying Recommendation to combat violence and harassment in the world of work have been adopted by the International Labour Conference (ILC). 

27 May 2019

Gender discrimination in Eurasia starts with family, says new report

According to the Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI) 2019 Regional Report for Eurasia, discrimination against Eurasian women is most pervasive within the family. Despite legal reforms promoting greater gender equality, deep-rooted social norms and practices inspire such discrimination.

25 April 2019

An analysis of 12,000 calls to the hotline for survivors of domestic violence shows the need to improve legislation in Belarus

More than 12,000 calls have been received by the national hotline for survivors of domestic violence (8-801-100-8-801) during its seven years of operation in Belarus (12,210 calls on 1st April 2019). The hotline is open daily from 8:00 to 20:00 and callers are able to receive social, psychological and legal assistance that is completely free, confidential and anonymous.

04 April 2019

Council of Europe adopts first-ever international legal instrument to stop sexism

States should step up their fight against sexism in all walks of life, according to a Recommendation just adopted by the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers. In response to the #MeToo and other recent movements that have heightened awareness of persistent sexism in society, the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers adopted a recommendation to stop sexism, which includes the first ever internationally agreed definition of it.

Gender-based violence

situation at glance

Domestic violence is a type of violence, a problem that exists in all countries of the world. Domestic violence can be defined as a cycle of physical, sexual, verbal, emotional, and economic abuse repeated in relation to one’s relatives with the goal of intimidation, control, and fear. One of the main features of domestic violence is that it is a recurring incident of various types of violence (physical, psychological, sexual and economic). Such incidents are an important indicator that distinguishes “domestic violence” from “conflict”. Violence is systematic. 

The second important feature of domestic violence, aggravating psychological trauma, is that the offender and the victim are close people. Unlike a crime committed by a stranger, domestic violence comes from a (former) spouse or partner, parents, children, other relatives, the groom, etc.

The problem of violence is defined in the current legislation of Belarus as a general problem without taking into account the specifics of domestic violence.

Results and impact

More than 13,000 calls have been received by the national hotline for survivors of domestic violence (8-801-100-8-801) during its almost 8 years of operation in Belarus. The hotline is open daily from 8:00 to 20:00 and callers are able to receive social, psychological and legal assistance that is completely free, confidential and anonymous.

Every final Thursday of the month, from 2pm to 6pm, a representative from the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Belarus is on duty alongside the psychologist. The nationwide hotline for victims of domestic violence is run by the international public association “Gender Perspectives”.

The majority of calls received so far have been directly from survivors (79%) and their friends and relatives (19%). Since its beginning seven years ago, the hotline has received 26 calls from abusers.

In recent years, the number of calls from districts, small towns and rural areas, has increased. Currently such calls make up 38% of call traffic. 18% of calls come from the regions and 37% of calls are from Minsk residents. According to the hotline, 94% of survivors of domestic violence are women, and 6% are men.

The social profile of a victim/survivor has remained the same during the operation of the hotline. The victim is typically a middle-aged woman, 27-40 years old (35%), married or in a steady relationship (47%), with one to two children (80%). It should also be noted that in 35% of cases described by callers, minors are also exposed to domestic violence. However, every second caller expressed fears and unwillingness to seek help directly from the state authorities due to the possibility of formally recognized status of the dangerous situation for children and moving them from the family into a shelter.

The perpetrator of domestic violence is often a man (88%), 27-40 years old (39%). Predominantly they are the spouse, (50%), intimate partner (6%) or former spouse (15%) of the victim. An analysis of calls to the hotline has refuted the stereotype that violence manifests when the perpetrator has an issue with substance abuse. Calls showed that 37% of abusers don’t have an addiction at all, and in 70% of cases, the violence occurred regardless of whether the abuser was under the influence of alcohol or not.

Regarding the nature of the violence, 94% of callers reported they suffer from psychological violence, 67% reported physical violence, 40% economic, and 4% sexual. A significant number of callers stated that they were suffering from a combination of these different types of violence.

While the hotline has been in action, 33% of callers have received legal advice and 59% psychological advice. But experience shows that legal advice and psychological help shall be supplemented by qualified referral to other specialized services. 30% of callers were advised to contact law enforcement agencies, 16% of callers were referred to regional centers for social services, 5% to organizations that provide assistance to people with alcohol addiction/dependence, and 6% - to state crisis rooms and shelters of CSOs.

An analysis of 13,000 calls made to the hotline revealed a number of social problems that require further improvement of the legislative framework to respond.

What we do

"Gender Perspectives"  provides assistance to women and men who are affected, trains specialists from state, public and international organizations, advocates the adoption of the Law on the Prevention of Domestic Violence and the improvement of law enforcement practices, and also influences public opinion through cooperation with the media .

Since August 13, 2012, a nationwide hotline for victims of domestic violence has been operating at the organization’s base 8 801 100 8 801. On the hot line,  women and men can get psychological, legal and social advice every day  for free, anonymously and confidentially.