Shelter housing for victims of violence launched in Quang Ninh

The “Anh Duong” (Sunshine) House Shelter for provision of supporting essential services to victims of violence against women and girls was jointly launched o April 29 for the first time in Quang Ninh province, by the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in partnership with the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA). 
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house shelter for victims of violence launched in quang ninh
Inside the “Anh Duong” (Sunshine) House Shelter. Photo: UNFPA

The shelter will be directly managed by the Quang Ninh Provincial Social Work Centre, under Quang Ninh Provincial Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs.

Despite many efforts, gender-based violence (GBV) is still a problem everywhere, every day including Vietnam, and remains to be one of the most pervasive human rights violations in the world today. It is estimated that one in three women globally experience violence over their lifetimes. Now, the Covid-19 outbreak may be exacerbating the problem.

In Vietnam, the National Study on Domestic Violence against Women, released by the General Statistics Office, under the coordination of UNFPA in Vietnam in 2010, showed that 58 per cent of ever-married women had experienced at least one of the three forms of violence (physical, sexual or psychological) in their lifetime. Approximately 50 per cent of victims did not tell anyone about the violence they endured, and 87 per cent did not seek any help from public services.

Data from Quang Ninh province shows that between 2016-2018, there were 555 cases of gender-based violence reported, and women victims constituted 81 per cent . In particular, there were emotional violence (65.2 per cent ), physical violence (29 per cent), sexual violence (2.3 per cent), and economic violence (9.5 per cent). The large majority (76.3 per cent) of victims were in the age group 16-59 years.

In times of crisis such as the Covid-19 outbreak, women and girls may be at higher risk of intimate partner violence and other different forms of violence caused by other members of the family, due to confined environment at home for a prolonged period of time, restrictions of movement, and heightened stress and tensions in the household. Other forms of GBV may also permeate including sexual exploitation and abuse in these situations. In some countries, the number of women calling for help has doubled. In Vietnam, GBV service providers have also observed increases in calls over the past few weeks.

Anh Duong House provides essential cares for victims of violence

According to Pham Ngoc Tien, Director of Gender Equality Department, Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, Anh Duong House Shelter is one of 18 support essential services providers to GBV survivors in response to gender-based violence, which is currently under pilot implementation by the Gender Equality Department. It is necessary to open the shelters for victims of gender-based violence like Anh Duong House – a safe space for women victims, which can provide timely, integrated and quality essential services and care. Survivors of victims can receive health and physical care, mental and psychological support, other support to ensure safety, and legal aids.

"We hope that the launching of Anh Duong House Shelter will effectively contribute to our efforts in the prevention and effective response to violence against women and girls in Vietnam," he said.

house shelter for victims of violence launched in quang ninh
The “Anh Duong” (Sunshine) House Shelter's signboard with hotline number. Photo: UNFPA

“Violence against women and girls undermines the integrity of the victims. It has tremendous costs not only to the victims but also to families, communities, and societies in terms of livelihood, health, safety, school achievement, productivity and rule of law. We believe that every woman and girl has the right to live in a GBV free environment. The project’s activities including the establishment of one coordination mechanism to facilitate inter-institutional support essential services will bring about efficient, professional, gender-sensitive and tailored assistance to GBV victims,” said Cho Han-Deog, Country Director of KOICA Vietnam Office.

“Our staff operate around the clock. They have necessary skills to deal with sensitive gender-based violence related information, and any survivors of gender-based violence when in need of support shall be welcomed, and they are provided with timely and personal care and follow-up actions to find solutions against the violence. Essential services provided at the Sunshine House will follow a victim-centered approach which GBV victims’ needs are met with respect, sympathy, impartiality and confidentiality,” said Nguyen Phuc Phong, Director of “Anh Duong” House Shelter and Quang Ninh Provincial Social Work Center.

Naomi Kitahara, UNFPA Representative in Viet Nam stressed that UNFPA is committed to continuing our support to the Government of Vietnam and other partners to end gender-based violence and achieve gender equality in Vietnam. "I call on everyone to join forces to make sure that women and girls can live a life free of violence, have equal access to opportunities and resources, exercise their leadership, and participate fully in the country’s process to achieve Sustainable Development Goals. Together, we can work towards a world where both men and women, and boys and girls, can enjoy life with dignity,” she said./.

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