Gender-based violence takes on many forms during conflicts, as we are witnessing in Ukraine. Rape and sexual violence are used as tools of war, and women and girls face higher risks of trafficking, as well as domestic violence and exploitation. Women’s specialist support services (WSSS) play a vital role in supporting survivors of violence, both during the conflict, as well as in the medium and long-term in post-conflict areas.
WAVE, with the support of the OSCE, started a new project to address capacity building and exchange of promising practices between women’s specialist support services to better support women survivors of violence in conflict and post-conflict areas. The WAVE members involved in the project are the Sexual Assault Crisis Center (Yerevan, Armenia), Women Fund Sukhumi (Kutaisi, Georgia), Foundation United Women Banja Luka (Banja Luka, Bosnia & Herzegovina), and Centre “Women’s Perspectives” (Lviv, Ukraine).
All partners faced or are facing armed conflict in their country and developed strategies and tools to tackle violence against women during and in the aftermath of conflicts. This project is aimed at creating a space of mutual learning, relation-building, and exchange of promising practices that will benefit the capacity of WSSS to support survivors effectively in the short, medium, and long-term both in the region and beyond. In particular, a toolkit will be developed in 2022 to collect this expertise and provide guidelines for both WSSS and for local and national authorities. The toolkit aims to improve the support to survivors in Ukraine, in light of the current war, and will also include the perspective and needs of the Ukrainian project partners.