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“A society cannot be free, happy, developed if women are oppressed in that society”

The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence campaign has been running in Armenia since 2001. The launch of the campaign was announced at the UN Office in Armenia. The meeting was attended by UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative Shomby Sharp, Minister of Labor and Social Affairs Zaruhi Batoyan, Head of the Juvenile Rights Protection and Domestic Violence Department of the Police Criminal Investigation Department Nelly Duryan”, “Crisis Center for Sexual Violence”, project manager Tatevik Aghabekyan.


According to UN Resident Coordinator Shomby Sharp, violence against women is a serious challenge for society, and it is important to collect accurate data on the issue to combat that challenge. “The United Nations is working with governments and NGOs to prevent violence against women, to achieve gender equality, to empower women economically and politically,” she said.


The next speaker at the press conference, Minister of Labor and Social Affairs Zaruhi Batoyan also emphasizes the importance of reliable information and public education in preventing violence, supporting victims of violence.


“Public education is very important not only in solving individual women’s issues, but also in effectively organizing public-political and various processes. I would like to remind you that the Government of Armenia has rejected all forms of violence at all levels, highlights the prevention of violence against women, promotes women’s activism, and the government’s programs are aimed at creating equal opportunities for young women, “the Minister said that there can be no happy, secure society where women are subjected to violence or do not have equal opportunities to realize their opportunities and rights.


According to Zaruhi Batoyan, the government has made some reforms over the past year to ensure the implementation of the law, such as the requirements for shelter staff for domestic violence victims, the provision of temporary assistance to victims of domestic violence, and financial support.


“The central registration procedure has also been adopted, which is very important for the geography of violence and other analyzes. It will also ensure that different agencies have one source on the numbers and forms of domestic violence, so these numbers will not differ, ”the minister said.


By 2020, according to a government official, work will continue, with the state budget allocating about 75 million        amd to the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs for the implementation of programs to prevent domestic violence and to support people subjected to domestic violence.


In particular:


  • Support centers for victims of domestic violence will be established in all regions of the country;


  • for the first time, two shelters for domestic violence victims will be funded from the state budget to serve 60 people;


  • Provision of temporary financial assistance to persons subjected to domestic violence;


  • A centralized census of domestic violence cases will be carried out, which will include not only the exact number of cases, but also a clear picture of the types of violence and the spatial distribution of their registration;


The third speaker at the press conference was Nelly Duryan, Head of the Department for the Protection of Juvenile Police and Domestic Violence of the Police. She reminded that in 2018 In February 2009, a police chief was set up under his command. According to her, a great deal of work has been done in the last one and a half years, victim-centered policies are being implemented, specialized units have been trained with the support of various international organizations, meetings have been organized in schools, local authorities have been provided with relevant knowledge, skills to identify victims of domestic violence for providing targeted support.


Tatevik Aghabekyan, Program Director of the Crisis Center on Sexual Violence, noted that a person subjected to sexual violence is required to apply to law enforcement agencies, as she will need a great resource and will struggle to prove her guilt every day. The burden of proof lies primarily on the subject of sexual assault. This is a serious problem, ” she said.

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